Effect of Grinding Media on the Surface Reactions and Flotation of Heavy Metal Sulphides

Rao, S. R. ; Moon, K. S. ; Leja, J. ; Freyberger, W. ; de Cuyper, J
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 19
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1976
A prolonged grinding of sulphide ores in steel mills appears harmful to flotation recovery and selectivity whenever xanthates are used as collectors. Particles finer than about 10um show a pronounced decrease in floatability. A supposition was made that the cause of the reduction in floatability of ground sulphides is the presence of metallic iron abraded during grinding and deposited on the ground particles. Electro- chemical measurements were made of mixed potentials developed by different sulphide-mineral electrodes (galena, chalcopyrite, pyrite, marmatite, pyrrhotite) in xanthate solutions, without a direct con- tact or in contact with a metallic iron electrode. These measurements showed that without a galvanic contact between the sulphide and the iron, the values of mixed potentials were in the vicinity of the xanthate/dixanthogen redax potential. When contact with iron was established, the mixed potentials shifted towards the more negative reducing or cathodic values, The shift was greater the higher was the ratio of the surface areas: iron electrode to sulphide electrode. Further, the shift in mixed potentials was greater the more reducing were the conditions on the sulphide electrode. Chemical analysis of reaction products produced on the surfaces of sulphides and in the bulk solution showed that less thiosulphate was formed in all of the sulphide-xanthate systems and that more elemental sulphur was detect-
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