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ArticleName Design and operation of SOMEX column flotation machines for processing the Khibiny apatite–nepheline ore
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2021.12.07
ArticleAuthor Nikitin A. Yu., Eliseeva R. A., Yushina T. I., Kalugin A. I.

SPA SOMEX, Moscow, Russia1 ; Mining Industrialists of Russia, Moscow, Russia2:

A. Yu. Nikitin, CEO, Executive Director, Candidate of Economic Sciences


SPA SOMEX, Moscow, Russia1 ; NUST MISIS, Moscow, Russia2:

R. A. Eliseeva, Engineering Manager1, Post-Graduate Student2,


NUST MISIS, Moscow, Russia:

T. I. Yushina, Head of the Mineral and Waste Treatment and Processing Department, Associate Professor, Candidate of Engineering Sciences


Apatit JSC’s Division in Kirovsk, Kirovsk, Russia:
A. I. Kalugin, Deputy Chief Engineer—Chief Dresser, Candidate of Engineering Sciences


The article discusses design variables and operation, as well as control and adjustment of process flows in column flotation machines of the same size from four different manufacturers. The relevance and key features of the column flotation method are shown. The main directions of modernization of column flotation machines with justification and comparison of operational characteristics are revealed. The technological performance indicators of the Russian flotation column, developed on the basis of a comparative analysis, are given. In Russia, column flotation machines are widely used in the flotation of phosphate raw materials. They are used at the processing plants of Apatit and North-Western Phosphorus Company, processing apatite–nepheline ores of the Khibiny deposits, and ensured a reduction in the number of refining operations from three to one. Column flotation machines of four manufacturers are used at these enterprises: CPT (Canada), BGRIMM (China), Metso Minerals (Finland), SPA SOMEX (Russia). Brief results of technological tests comparing the performance of two parallel sections, one performed on equipment manufactured by Metso Minerals, the second on the equipment of SPA SOMEX, are presented. It is established that the column flotation machine manufactured by SPA SOMEX takes into account the experience of operating columns from various manufacturers and is the most advanced version of column apparatuses.

keywords Flotation machines, column flotation machines, flotation column, aeration system, bubbler, foam product, foam washing, air consumption, flotation efficiency, apatite-nepheline ores, technological test

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