Journals →  Tsvetnye Metally →  2019 →  #4 →  Back

ArticleName Developing a selective flotation process for antimony and arsenic sulfides in complex gold ore processing
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2019.04.01
ArticleAuthor Matveeva T. N., Gromova N. K., Lantsova L. B.

Institute of Comprehensive Exploitation of Mineral Resources of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ICEMR RAS), Moscow, Russia:

T. N. Matveeva, Head of the Department of Comprehensive Mineral Extraction from Natural and Man-Made Materials, e-mail:
N. K. Gromova, Research Associate
L. B. Lantsova, Research Associate


Composite gold-antimony ores contain fine-dispersed submicroscopic gold which is concentrated together with iron sulfides, such as pyrite, arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite. Such ores are considered refractory ores and characterised with low recovery of gold in cyanidation. Commercial concentrations of antimony in such ores make such deposits much more valuable. The product of gold-antimony ore processing is a bulk gold-antimony concentrate. Antimony concentrate is produced by separating the bulk gold sulfide concentrate as flotation froth. Bulk-selective flotation is used for processing of arsenic-antimony ores. In this process, all sulfides are extracted in the concentrate. For selection, depressants are used to surpress pyrite and arsenopyrite flotation. A low contrast between the flotation properties of stibnite versus arsenopyrite in the presence of conventional collectors and modifiers creates a need for new efficient regimes of selective flotation. This paper describes, and provides experimental evidence for, a flotation technique for separating antimony and arsenic sulfides when processing complex gold ores, which is based on the use of new selective reagents – modified diethyldithiocarbamate and tannin modifier. It was established that the application of tannin modifier in combination with diethyldithiocarbamate increases the flotation contrast between antimony and arsenic minerals. The mechanism of arsenopyrite depression implies a generation of the adsorption layer of Fe (II) and Fe (III) tannates, which account for 40% of the mineral surface area and produce a hydrophilic effect during flotation. Tannin does not react with antimony or adsorb on the stibnite surface. Consequently, it does not impede the flotation of stibnite with diethyldithiocarbamate thus ensuring its efficient separation from stibnite and chalcopyrite during the selection of bulk gold sulfide concentrate. Potential applicability of the developed technique was proved on a sample of gold-antimony ore from the Olimpiada deposit containing Au 2.5 g/t. In ore flotation conditions, the concentration of Sb in the concentrate sees a double rise while its recovery rises from 66 to 81%. At the same time, the concentration of arsenic drops from 1.38 to 0.77% while its recovery decreases from 95.6 to 90.8%. The concentration of gold in the concentrate increases from 15 to 22 g/t with the recovery being 88–90%.

keywords Stibnite, arsenopyrite, gold ores, flotation reagents, tannin, collector, composite diethyldithiocarbamate, adsorption, microscopy

1. Approval of the guidelines on how to use the classification of discovered and undiscovered deposits of solid minerals. Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation. Decree No. 37-r dated 5 June 2007. Available at: (Accessed: 3.04.2019)
2. Kurkov A. V., Solozhenkin P. M., Shcherbakova S. N. Integrated processing of the gold-antimony ores of Kyuchus deposit (Sakha republic (Yakutia, Russia)). Tsvetnye Metally. 2013. No. 4. pp. 18–22.
3. Salomatova S. I., Matveev A. I. Processing of the gold-antimony ore from the Sentachan deposit: Results of research. Gornyy informatsionno-analiticheskiy byulleten. 2009. No. S15. pp. 84–91.
4. Solozhenkin P. M., Kushakov Sh. T., Kovalev V. N. Developing an industrial technique for processing of gold-antimony concentrates in the Far North region. Gornyy informatsionno-analiticheskiy byulleten. 2018. No. 51. pp. 395–407.
5. Ivanova T. A., Zimbovskiy I. G., Getman V. V., Karkeshkina A. Yu. Study on the possibility of using dithiopyrilmethane in flotation of sulfide minerals. Obogashchenie Rud. 2018. No. 6. pp. 38–44. DOI: 10.17580/or.2018.06.07
6. Solozhenkin P. M. Further considerations on the selection of reagents for the flotation of antimony and bismuth. Doklady Akademii nauk. 2016. Vol. 466, No. 5. p. 559.
7. Robertson C., Bradshaw D., Harris P. Decoupling the effects of depression and dispersion in the batch flotation of a platinum bearing ore. Proceedings of XXII IMPC, 29 Sept. – 3 Oct. 2003, Cape Town, South Africa. pp. 920–928.
8. Somasundaran P., Wang J., Pan Z. Interactions of gum depressants with talk: study of adsorption by spectroscopic and allied techniques. Proceedings of XXII IMPC, 29 Sept. – 3 Oct. 2003, Cape Town, South Africa. pp. 912–919.
9. Beattie D., Mierczynska-Vasilev A., Kor M., Addai-Mensah J. Polymer depressant adsorption selectivity in mixed mineral systems. Proceedings of XXVII IMPC, 20–24 Oct. 2014, Santiago, Chile, Book of abstracts. Vol. I. 119 p.
10. Braga P., Chaves A., Luz A., Franca S. Polymeric depressants in purification by flotation of molibdenite. Proceedings of XXVII IMPC, 20–24 Oct. 2014, Santiago, Chile, Book of abstracts. Vol. I. 134 p.
11. Matveeva T. N., Gromova N. K., Lantsova L. B. Understanding the adsorption of tannin bearing organic reagents on stibnite, arsenopyrite and chalcopyrite in the flotation of complex gold ores. Fiziko-tekhnicheskie problemy razrabotki poleznykh iskopaemykh. 2016. No. 3. pp. 134–142.
12. Byrko V. M. Dithiocarbamates. Moscow : Nauka, 1984. 342 p.
13. Matveeva T. N., Gromova N. K., Minaev V. A. Quantitative evaluation of adsorption layer of combined diethyldithiocarbamate on chalkopyrite and arsenopyrite by method of measuring the parameters of surface relief. Tsvetnye Metally. 2018. No. 7. pp. 27–32.
14. Matveeva T. N., Gromova N. K., Lantsova L. B. Understanding the effect of tannin on the adsorption of combination collector and the flotation of stibnite and arsenopyrite from complex ore. Fiziko-tekhnicheskie problemy razrabotki poleznykh iskopaemykh. 2017. No. 6. pp. 155–162.

Language of full-text russian
Full content Buy