Harness More Performance from Your Plant
Not just a theory. Correctly formulated mixed collector systems actually deliver better grade and recovery from a lower overall collector dose. Candidate collectors for the mixed collector suite are selected from the mineralogy of the ore. The collector ratios, or mixture formulation, is optimised through a factorially designed set of flotation tests that “tune” the mixture for peak selectivity and recovery (Lotter and Bradshaw, 2010). More successful middling and coarse particle flotation, as well as faster kinetics and increased bubble carrying capacity, are the levers in this system.
This theory was successfully tested at an operating platinum mine in South Africa, where the standard collector suite was a single xanthate. Laboratory testwork using mineralogy and a factorially designed set of flotation tests formulated a mixed collector suite comprising two xanthates and a dithiocarbamate. This work predicted a 2.1% absolute gain in PGE recovery from this mixture as compared to the standard baseline xanthate. Use of the on-off designed plant trial verified this gain to be 2.5%, as well as a gain in concentrate grade (Lotter et al., 2011). These gains were significant at the 90% confidence level.
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Lotter, N.O., and Bradshaw, D.J., 2010. The Formulation and Use of Mixed Collectors for Sulphide Flotation, Minerals Engineering, 23, (2010), pp. 945-951.
Lotter, N.O., Monnapula, R., Oliveira, J., Fragomeni, D., and Bradshaw, D.J., 2011. Formulation and Plant Trial of a Mixed Collector Suite for Eland Platinum, proc. Canadian Mineral Processors, Ottawa, January 2011, Paper 10.
Lotter, N.O., and Bradshaw, D.J., 2018. The Formulation and use of Mixed Collectors in Sulphide Flotation – Valuable Performance Gains, proc. Extraction 18, Ottawa, pp. 2889-2900..