Predicting plant scale flash flotation performance: validation of laboratory methodology and applications for use

Newcombe, Bianca (2014) Predicting plant scale flash flotation performance: validation of laboratory methodology and applications for use. Minerals Engineering, 57 57-67. doi:10.1016/j.mineng.2013.12.013

Author Newcombe, Bianca
Title Predicting plant scale flash flotation performance: validation of laboratory methodology and applications for use
Journal name Minerals Engineering   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0892-6875
Publication date 2014-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.mineng.2013.12.013
Volume 57
Start page 57
End page 67
Total pages 11
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Formatted abstract
• Laboratory scale methodology developed to indicate plant flash response.
• Batch test conc. matches target mineral size × assay × liberation of plant flash conc.
• Close proximity of batch test conc. grades with plant flash cleaner conc.
• Original results validated using a second survey and testing campaign.
• Applications for industrial use presented.

A method has been developed in which laboratory batch flotation test results can be used in conjunction with mineralogical analysis to determine whether an ore is amenable to successful recovery via the flash flotation processing route. In the original development work, using a high grade refractory gold ore, a direct correlation was found with the particle properties of the plant flash flotation cell concentrate and a concentrate produced by a targeted laboratory batch flotation test. The respective concentrates were observed to have nearly identical distributions of the target elements (Au, S and Fe) by size as well as almost identical liberation characteristics of the key mineral (pyrite) for flotation. A second ore from the same mine, but of significantly lower grade and different grinding characteristics has now been tested to determine if the same correlations exist that were observed with the previous work and to provide further insight into the differences between laboratory and plant response in order to potentially refine the procedure further and enhance its usability as a predictive tool.

Testing of the second ore confirmed the original findings that a targeted laboratory batch flotation test can produce a concentrate with a target mineral (pyrite) distribution by size and liberation that matches the concentrate produced by the industrial scale flash flotation cell whilst treating the same feed material. Further to this, grades of the intermediate size classes in the laboratory concentrates were found to be similar to those of the plant flash cleaner cells.

From the correlations in performance observed with both ore types in the laboratory batch cell and plant flash flotation cell, methodologies are proposed that can be used to determine:

• whether a new ore could be treated by flash flotation in a plant with an existing flash flotation circuit;
• whether a plant operating without an existing flash flotation circuit could benefit from installing one; and
• the amenability of an ore to the flash flotation process for greenfield flow sheet development.

A step wise approach is given for each to allow the method to be applied to and adapted for other ores and valuable mineral types. The advantage of following this methodology exists in that no specialised equipment or analysis methods are required to perform the test. Standard laboratory equipment has been used throughout the test-work and mineralogical analysis performed via commercially available MLA. The procedure is kept as basic as possible to allow for maximum usability on sites where only essential laboratory equipment exists.
Keyword Froth flotation
Gold ores
Sulphide ores
Ore mineralogy
Particle size
Flotation machines
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre Publications
Official 2015 Collection
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Fri, 17 Jan 2014, 00:58:33 EST by Karen Holtham on behalf of Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre