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Minerals & Metallurgical Processing Journal  

Flotability of metallic iron fines from comminution circuits and their effect on flotation of a sulfide ore

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing, 2008, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 206-210

Lin, H.K.; Walsh, D.E.; Sonderland, S.H.; Bissue, C.; Debrah, A.


The effect of metallic iron fines on froth flotation of a sulfide ore was examined by comparing the flotation results with and without iron fines present in the flotation feed. Mild steel and ceramic laboratory ball mills were used to grind 600 g sulfide ore charges. The mild steel ball mill generated approximately 4.6 g of iron fines (0.8% of the ore charge mass) when grinding to a product size of 80% passing 200 mesh (75 μm). When a low dosage of a weak xanthate collector was used in flotation, the impact of the iron fines on sulfide flotation was marked. Higher
dosages of stronger xanthate collectors rendered the impact of the iron fines much less significant. Consumption of the collectors by the powdery iron fines is believed to cause the differences observed in the flotation results. A galvanic effect on flotation was not evident in this study. The impact of the iron fines on silicates depression was also examined.

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