Chemistry of Flotation

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 23
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1984
Since its commercial in Australia at Broken Hill in the early part of the 20th century, the flotation process has grown to become the single most important minerals separation method available to mineral processing engineers. Statistics on flotation are impressive both in terms of growth of tonnages treated and in terms of the variety of separations accomplished. Because of the steady decline in the grade of ores and because many of the ores remaining are finely disseminated mixtures of minerals (many of them in a highly oxidized state) mineral processing scientists and engineers are now con- fronted with the problem of improving and modifying conventional flotation techniques so as to be able to effic- iently process these more refractory types of-ores. The flotation process did not come into being as the result of an intensive fundamental research effort but, in a similar way to so many other methods used in the processing of raw materials, it was developed over the years by the continued application of empirical methods. As a result, most of the basic research in this field has long been concerned with the problem of explaining why the existing process works so well. We are now at the stage where any further substan- tial extension of the flotation process will demand a more profound understanding of its fundamental principles. Current knowledge of flotation fundamentals is still far from the stage where processes can be designed, optimized, and controlled from first principles. The extensive
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