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ArticleName Comparative study of the flotation efficiency in multi-zone and laboratory scale flotation cells on the fine pyrite tailings
ArticleAuthor Filippov L. O., Filippova I. V., Matinin A. S., Samygin V. D.

National University of Science and Technology “MISiS”, Moscow, Russia

Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France

L. O. Filippov, Рrofessor, е-mail:
I. V. Filippova, Senior Researcher
A. S. Matinin, Еngineer

National University of Science and Technology “MISiS”, Moscow, Russia

V. D. Samygin, Сhief Еxpert, professor


Comparison of metallurgical results of fine pyrite tailings flotation in different laboratory flotation cells and two set-up of multi-zone flotation cell (MZFC) was carried out. Two principle of pulp stratification in the MZFC were studied:

– in the MZFC RS-5, the stratification occurs by impact of pulp-bubble jet to the surface of a prismatic insert inside of cell, which provides a detachment of low hydrophobic particles from bubbles. This mode must provide a higher pyrite grade in the concentrate.

– in the MZFC RSC, the stratification occurs by profiling the pulp-bubble jet from reactors due to a specific geometry of cell walls. This mode provides a higher pyrite recovery.

A very high flotation efficiency (82%) with pure pyrite concentrate (51.2% of sulfur) and recovery level of 92% were obtained with MZFC RS-5 for low collector dosage. The new continuous MZFC devices were demonstrated similar or higher efficiency in comparison with laboratory batch flotation cells. The laboratory cells were demonstrated a high recovery (90–98%), but sulfur grade in the concentrate was low 39–49%. The comparison of the S content in the final tailings show higher efficiency of MZFC in regard of conventional cell: lowest sulfur content of 2.5% in mechanical cell was obtained with AgitAir while the new MZFC devices provide S content of 0.65 to 1.42% in function of cell configuration. Presence of composite particles limits the possibilities of total removal of pyrite. Finally, the new MZFC show very high flowrate and high specific surface area flux with obtaining a high pyrite grade without significant recovery loss. Efficiency of air use for different flotation cell (mineral loading of bubble) has been investigated: the MZFC demonstrated a bubble loading coefficient >1.5 fold than the laboratory cells. This can be explained by a smaller bubbles size of the bubbles in the MZFC (about 0.4 mm) than in laboratory cells (WEMCO – 1.5 mm).

keywords Multi-zone flotation cell, pyrite tailings, pulp stratification, bubble loading, fine particle, flotation, recovery

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