Flotation of Potash Ores

Laskowski, Janusz S.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 19
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1994
The most important type of potash ores, sylvinite, contains sylvite, halite and a small percentage of insoluble gangue [sulfates (anhydrite), carbonates (dolomite), and clay minerals]. Primary normal long-chain amines are exlusively utilized to float sylvite from halite, but since mines are also adsorbed by insoluble slimes, the process requires prior desliming. This is carried out either by mechanical means, or by flotation of slimes and blocking off the adsorption centers on clays with the use of polyelectrolytes. Fractional crystallization is employed to produce fertilizer grade KC1 from disseminated ores with a high content of slimes. An extender oil is needed in addition to mine to float coarse sylvite fractions. The process is carried out in a saturated brine at mine concentrations exceeding the solubility limit and is strongly affected by temperature fluctuations. All these important features, which make this process differ from a conventional flotation, result from a high electrolyte concentration.
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