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ArticleName Research on selective flotation of refractory multicomponent copper-zinc ores through multiple testing
DOI 10.17580/or.2024.03.04
ArticleAuthor Senchenko A. E., Sarapulova G. I., Fedotov P. K., Fedotov K. V.

TOMS Institute (Irkutsk, Russia)
Senchenko A. E., General Director


Irkutsk National Research Technical University (INRTU) (Irkutsk, Russia)
Sarapulova G. I., Professor, Doctor of Chemical Sciences,
Fedotov P. K., Professor, Doctor of Engineering Sciences,
Fedotov K. V., Head of Chair, Doctor of Engineering Sciences, Professor


This article demonstrates the feasibility of using step-by-step multiple testing to identify optimal parameters for the flotation concentration of refractory copper-zinc ores with complex chemical compositions. The core method involves controlled reagent dosing via intermediate control tests. This approach enabled the selection and empirical validation of variable dynamic flotation parameters, leading to the development of a collective-selective flotation process yielding copper and zinc concentrates. The effectiveness of a direct selective two-stage flotation process has been demonstrated. A collective concentrate was obtained with a copper content of 13.6 %, achieving 68.7 % recovery and a yield of 7.8 %. The zinc content in this concentrate was 17.2 %, with a recovery of 48.9 %. The study established the optimal parameters for the collective-selective flotation process to obtain the collective concentrate: the initial ore grinding size should be up to 80 % passing 0.071 mm; the regrinding size of the rougher collective concentrate should be up to 80 % passing 0.015 mm. For pyrite depression, CaO was identified as the optimal pH regulator with a consumption rate of 1300 g/t. Na2S2O5 was selected as the depressant for sphalerite and pyrite at a consumption rate of 1000 g/t. Aero 5125, used as the collector at a rate of 93 g/t, demonstrated the highest selectivity towards pyrite. MIBC was used as the frother at a consumption rate of 34 g/t. The durations were up to 18 minutes for rougher flotation, 7 minutes for scavenger flotation, and 12.5 minutes for cleaner flotation. This research represents the initial evaluative phase in selecting flotation parameters to optimize concentration of refractory copper-zinc ores of complex compositions, to be supplemented with subsequent refinement and scaling of the process for industrial applications.

keywords Copper-zinc ore, collective-selective flotation, concentrate, step-by-step testing, variable process parameters, reagent consumption

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