Depression of Galena Flotation by Sulfite or Chromate Ion
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 1976
Depression of galena by sulfite or chromate ion in xanthate flotation was investigated by means of adsorption measurements, electron diffraction and flotation tests. Flotation of galena was depressed by sulfite ion only when galena had been oxidized; no depression took place with unoxidized clean galena. A similar behavior was found when chromate ion was used as a depressant, with the exception that the chromate ion depressed unoxidized clean galena around neutral pH. Depression was attained with galena on which xanthate still remained in appreciable amounts, indicating that the depression is not due to a decrease in xanthate adsorption. The galena surface produced sparingly soluble films under conditions in which depression of galena took place. These films were identified by electron diffraction as lead sulfite and lead chromate on oxidized galena and as chromic oxide on unoxidized clean galena. These ob- servations in conjunction with contact angle measurements, indicate that the depressing action of sulfite or chromate ion arises primarily from film deposition resulting from the reaction between depressants and the galena surface. The thickness of the film was analyzed by means of electrochemical polarization.