Optimising Collector Performance In The Production Of High Grade PGM Concentrates - Preprint 09-115
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 2009
Recently the operating philosophy at concentrators processing platinum bearing ores has started to move from a recovery dominated system to one in which the production of high grade concentrates at the expense of some recovery would provide greater benefits in the further upgrading of the platinum group minerals (PGM). The low grades usually obtained are associated with the presence of naturally floatable talcaceous gangue minerals in all PGM ores. Polysaccharide depressants such as guar gum and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) are used to improve the grades of the concentrates. Recent testwork has shown that the use of high depressant concentrations can prevent any naturally floatable gangue from reporting to the concentrate. The only gangue present in the concentrates would be due to its entrainment in the froth. Under these conditions much higher grades can be achieved. The sulphide minerals themselves, however, become susceptible to depression at high depressant concentrations. This work examines how the recovery of sulphide minerals in two Merensky ores was affected by the type and concentration of the collector in the presence of high depressant concentration (500 g/t) and that the response of the sulphide minerals was also dependent on the type of depressant used (guar or CMC).