A comparison of the flotation behaviour and the effect of copper activation on three reef types from the Merensky reef at Northam

Brough, C. P., Bradshaw, D. J. and Becker, M. (2010). A comparison of the flotation behaviour and the effect of copper activation on three reef types from the Merensky reef at Northam. In: D. J. Bradshaw, J.-P. Franzidis and B. A. Wills, Minerals Engineering: Froth Flotation. Proceedings of: 4th International Flotation Conference. Flotation 09: 4th International Flotation Conference, Cape Town, WC, S.A., (846-854). 9-12 November 2009. doi:10.1016/j.mineng.2010.03.023


Author Brough, C. P.
Bradshaw, D. J.
Becker, M.
Title of paper A comparison of the flotation behaviour and the effect of copper activation on three reef types from the Merensky reef at Northam
Conference name Flotation 09: 4th International Flotation Conference
Conference location Cape Town, WC, S.A.
Conference dates 9-12 November 2009
Convener Minerals Engineering International
Proceedings title Minerals Engineering: Froth Flotation. Proceedings of: 4th International Flotation Conference   Check publisher's open access policy
Journal name Minerals Engineering   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Publication Year 2010
Year available 2009
Sub-type Fully published paper
DOI 10.1016/j.mineng.2010.03.023
ISSN 0892-6875
1872-9444
Editor D. J. Bradshaw
J.-P. Franzidis
B. A. Wills
Volume 23
Issue 11-13
Start page 846
End page 854
Total pages 8
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary At Northam Platinum Mine in South Africa intense potholing of the Merensky Reef has led to the development of several mineralogically different reef types in proximity to one other, which results in differing processing performance. In particular, the nature and texture of the valuable sulfide minerals, as well as the nature of the gangue minerals and degree of alteration in the various reef types affects both milling throughput and flotation recovery. The three major ore types being processed and thus selected for this study are the Normal reef, NP2 reef and P2 reef. The focus of this study was to investigate the relationship between changes in mineralogy and the effect of copper sulfate addition at two grind sizes on the laboratory batch flotation performance obtained with the three reef types. The best results were obtained with the NP2 reef in terms of expected industrial throughput, recovery and grade of all base-metal sulfides despite this reef type having the lowest feed grade of sulfide minerals. The biggest difference was in the recovery and grade of pyrrhotite. The better performance of the NP2 reef ore relative to the Normal and P2 reefs has been attributed to the equigranular nature of the reef type together with its feldspathic mineralogy. In contrast, the Normal and P2 reefs are orthopyroxene rich and are associated with more alteration minerals. The Normal reef contained the greatest amount of alteration minerals which correlated to the poorest flotation performance in terms of recovery and grade at all conditions tested. Whereas addition of copper sulfate did not affect the flotation of the sulfides in the NP2 reef ore, it significantly improved the overall performance of the base-metal sulfides in the Normal and P2 reefs, especially for pyrrhotite.
Crown Copyright © 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyword PGM ores
Sulfide minerals
Pyrrhotite
Mineralogy
Bushveld complex
SIMS
Adsorption
Pyroxene
Metal
Ores
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Presented during Technical Session 2A of the Symposium on Applications and Plant Practice. Published under "Froth Flotation - Applications".

 
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Created: Sun, 28 Nov 2010, 00:01:16 EST