The effect of non-sulphide gangue minerals on the flotation of sulphide minerals from Carlin-type gold ores

Tabatabaei, Reyhaneh H., Nagaraj, D. R., Vianna, Sergio M. S. M., Napier-Munn, Timothy J. and Gorain, Barun (2014) The effect of non-sulphide gangue minerals on the flotation of sulphide minerals from Carlin-type gold ores. Minerals Engineering, 60 26-32. doi:10.1016/j.mineng.2014.02.004

Author Tabatabaei, Reyhaneh H.
Nagaraj, D. R.
Vianna, Sergio M. S. M.
Napier-Munn, Timothy J.
Gorain, Barun
Title The effect of non-sulphide gangue minerals on the flotation of sulphide minerals from Carlin-type gold ores
Journal name Minerals Engineering   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0892-6875
Publication date 2014-06-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.mineng.2014.02.004
Volume 60
Start page 26
End page 32
Total pages 7
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Formatted abstract
• Small increase in clays proportion in the feed had considerable effect on recovery of sulphides.
• The antagonistic effect of gangues on the sulphides grade was much stronger than that for recovery.
• MLA analysis: with decreasing grain size of gangues, the sulphides recovery deteriorated.

Flotation pre-concentration of sulphide and gold values from certain Carlin-type deposits characterised as double-refractory gold ores is quite challenging. Numerous studies conducted on these ores in many laboratories globally (including the present study) under a variety of chemical and physical conditions have merely confirmed low recovery (and poor concentrate grades) for sulphide minerals and gold, and poor separation between sulphide minerals and carbonaceous matter, even when the valuable minerals are adequately liberated. None of the traditional reasons based on liberation or the choice of chemical and physical conditions and separation strategies could provide satisfactory explanation for the observed poor separation.

In this study, the focus was on the role of non-sulphide gangue (NSG) minerals. It was hypothesised that specific NSG minerals have a detrimental effect on flotation recovery of gold bearing minerals and their separation selectivity. In order to test this hypothesis and delineate the effect of the various gangue minerals, a new approach was taken. This involved first isolating the various mineral components of a double-refractory gold ore from one of the Carlin-type deposits using a gravity separation technique. Then flotation experiments were performed using a mixture design on various mixtures of these isolated components under controlled conditions. The results of these mixture experiments supported the hypothesis and demonstrated, for the first time for these types of ores, that even small amounts of NSG minerals, especially carbonaceous matter and clays, had a large adverse effect on the flotation of sulphides and selectivity of separation. While it is tempting to attribute the observed effects solely to slime coating, there is no basis to do so at this stage; it is more reasonable to propose that multiple contributions exist. The results of this study provide the much-needed context and direction for further fundamental studies and for developing processing strategies.
Keyword Double-refractory gold ore
Sulphide flotation
Carbonaceous matter
Non-sulphide gangue
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
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
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Created: Tue, 11 Mar 2014, 21:10:19 EST by Karen Holtham on behalf of Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre