The use of automated mineralogy to interpret the batch flotation performance of Merensky Reef ore

Becker, M., Harris, P., Wiese, J., Corin, K. and Bradshaw, Dee J. (2010). The use of automated mineralogy to interpret the batch flotation performance of Merensky Reef ore. In: XXV International Mineral Processing Congress - IMPC 2010 'Smarter processing for the future. International Mineral Processing Congress 2010, Brisbane, Qld, Australia, (2797-2804). 6-10 September, 2010.

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Author Becker, M.
Harris, P.
Wiese, J.
Corin, K.
Bradshaw, Dee J.
Title of paper The use of automated mineralogy to interpret the batch flotation performance of Merensky Reef ore
Conference name International Mineral Processing Congress 2010
Conference location Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Conference dates 6-10 September, 2010
Convener Ralph J. Holmes
Proceedings title XXV International Mineral Processing Congress - IMPC 2010 'Smarter processing for the future
Place of Publication Carlton, VIC, Australia
Publisher Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Publication Year 2010
Year available 2010
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 9781921522284
Start page 2797
End page 2804
Total pages 8
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Merensky Reef ores are processed by flotation to recover the valuable platinum group elements and minerals, as well as base metal sulfides and selected reagents are added to optimise this process. Batch flotation tests are one of the key tools used to evaluate and understand the different interactions taking place between the reagents and minerals. Metallurgical performance is generally evaluated from the extrapolation of chemical assays that are routinely available, but which does not allow investigation of the types of particles being affected under the different flotation conditions. With the advent of quantitative mineralogical analyses (MLA, QEMSCAN) on metallurgical samples, these previously qualitative interpretations of flotation performance can now be quantified. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the use of chemical assays to interpret the batch flotation performance through the use of automated mineralogy in the context of a larger study that investigates the effect of depressant addition on the flotation of the base metal sulfides on a Merensky Reef ore. The QEMSCAN results showed that calculations of total gangue recovered to the concentrate based on chemical assays were shown to be relatively accurate. Interpretation of chalcopyrite and pentlandite flotation performance based on chemical assays was good, although the interpretation of pyrrhotite performance was complicated by the presence of pyrite. The base metal sulfides recovered were over 70 per cent liberated. No reduction was observed in the floatability of liberated chalcopyrite and pentlandite in the two size fractions investigated, due to the addition of depressant. The inadvertent loss of pyrrhotite during flotation however, was accounted for by the effect of depressant addition on froth stability. This study has shown the usefulness of both the extrapolation of chemical assay and mineralogical analysis in evaluating the results of batch flotation tests, although the results need to be interpreted with care.
Keyword Liberation
Depressants
Automated mineralogy
Pyrrhotite
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Thu, 09 Dec 2010, 12:47:00 EST by Karen Holtham on behalf of Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre