Selective Flotation of Scheelite
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 1976
A novel process is described for the selective flotation of scheelite from low-grade (- 0.5% W03) tungsten ores having appreciable quantities of calcareous and siliceous gangue minerals. Specifically developed for the Tempiute, Nevada facility of Union Carbide, the process yields tungsten concentrates exceeding 15 percent W03 with at least 85 percent recovery. This condition was not achieved through conventional processes. This process consists of conditioning the ore pulp with judicious amounts of lime, followed by soda ash and sodium silicate as modifiers. The scheelite is then floated using a mixture of oleic and naphthenic acids as collector. Contrary to the common observation as to the deleterious effects of calcium in fatty acid flotation systems, lime addition is found to be beneficial in achieving satisfactory results. The process has also shown excellent results on a Brazilian scheelite ore.