The effect of amorphous silica on pulp rheology and copper flotation

Chen, Xumeng, Hadde, Enrico, Liu, Shiqi and Peng, Yongjun (2017) The effect of amorphous silica on pulp rheology and copper flotation. Minerals Engineering, 113 41-46. doi:10.1016/j.mineng.2017.08.001


Author Chen, Xumeng
Hadde, Enrico
Liu, Shiqi
Peng, Yongjun
Title The effect of amorphous silica on pulp rheology and copper flotation
Journal name Minerals Engineering   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0892-6875
1872-9444
Publication date 2017-11-01
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.mineng.2017.08.001
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 113
Start page 41
End page 46
Total pages 6
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Language eng
Subject 2207 Control and Systems Engineering
1600 Chemistry
1909 Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
2210 Mechanical Engineering
Abstract Amorphous silica is an abundant gangue mineral in ore deposits, but its effect on mineral flotation is unknown. In this study, the effect of amorphous silica on pulp rheology and chalcopyrite flotation was investigated. It was found that the presence of amorphous silica increased the pulp viscosity more significantly than quartz especially at a high percentage of solids. This is due to the formation of network structures of amorphous silica particles driven by hydrogen bonds between silanol (Si OH) groups on adjacent silica units. Flotation tests were conducted using mixtures of chalcopyrite, quartz and amorphous silica. The copper recovery was not affected when the percentage of amorphous silica was less than 30 vol%. However, it started to decrease significantly after the percentage of amorphous silica was further increased, which was caused by the significantly increased pulp viscosity. Although a low percentage of amorphous silica had little influence on copper recovery, it caused a significant increase in mass recovery, leading to the decreased copper grade. This was found to be due to the increased entrainment of gangue minerals resulting from the low particle density of amorphous silica and the network structures formed by amorphous silica particles.
Keyword Amorphous silica
Copper flotation
Entrainment
Pulp rheology
Quartz
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID
LP110200293
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Chemical Engineering Publications
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