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The compositional distribution of a population of particles is often referred to as the liberation spectrum. The challenge is to sensibly represent the vast amount of information contained in the liberation spectrum in a format that can be interpreted in a processing context. This paper describes one approach that can be used to represent the liberation spectrum, from compositional data obtained from automated SEM-based systems, and discusses how ore characteristics, such as mineral grade and grain size and distribution, can be interpreted. Ores from five different locations are compared using pyrite as the mineral of interest to demonstrate the approach. How this data might be used in a mineral processing context is also discussed, specifically with reference to how this approach may be used to determine grinding targets for sep...
Flash flotation plays an integral role in many of the gold and sulfide mineral concentrators around the world, and yet despite this widespread use, very little information on this unit process is available in the published literahrre. For operations to maximise the performance of their flash flotation circuits, understanding how these cells operate, the nature of the particles they target and how to predict whether a flash flotation cell should be used on a specific ore type is of vital importance. This paper provides a sununary of the key findings of a large flash flotation research project based in the operating environment of a refractory gold concentrator. The influence of key flotation performance criteria including gas dispersion, residence time and particle segregation within the cell will be discussed and recorrunendation...
The observed behaviours of mineral particles in mineral processing operations have been exploited in the past to model comminution and concentration processes. In this work this concept has been taken a step further, exploiting the mineralogical characteristics of particles to link comminution, concentration and smelting. This approach is demonstrated using a laboratory-based case study of a Ni-Cu sulphide ore. The case study focused on the effect of shifting energy between the comminution and smelting stages on the overall energy consumption for the metal production process. To model this effect the mineral composition of the particles was linked to the behaviour of the ore particles in the primary grinding, regrinding and flotation stages. This application of process mineralogy provides a methodology to minimise energy use across min...
The role of particle shape properties in determining flotation kinetics was investigated in this study. -150/+75 μm chalcopyrite was floated in a microflotation cell, and shape properties of the timed concentrates were quantified using a mineral liberation analyser - a mineralogical characterisation system based on automated scanning electron microscopy. It was found that, when floated in the absence of collector, particles with angular shape features reported to the concentrate faster than round particles. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy (ToF-SIMS) showed that angular particles also exhibited surface chemistry characteristics favourable for flotation. When particle floatabilities were high (i.e. when floated in the presence of potassium amyl xanthate), shape properties were not...
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