Recovery of Ultrafine Pentlandite by Shear-Flocculation

Clark I, ; Stockton N, ; Warren L,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1992
Nickel flotation circuits currently experience difficulties in recovering fine particles of pentlandite less than ten microns. By agglomerating these particles using shear-flocculation it is hoped to improve the recovery of these fine particles. A sample of massive sulphide ore from the Kambalda region was separated using magnetic separation to obtain a high grade pentlandite concentrate (> 90 per cent). This was finely ground to produce a sample with particles of 50 per cent minus 10 um in size. This sample was then shear-flocculated using a variety of reagents, including xanthates, dithiophosphate and mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT). The effects of reagent type and concentration, conditioning time, impeller speed and type, and pulp density were studied. Froth flotation tests were also conducted on the shear flocculated pulps to compare the effects of xanthate and MBT on the recovery of pentlandite.
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