Flotation of copper-molybdenum sulphide ores in seawater entails critical challenges such as selective recovery of molybdenite, effective pyrite depression, and reducing the lime addition required to reach highly alkaline conditions. It is essential that laboratory flotation tests aimed at solving these problems give reliable, reproducible results and indicate the correct approach for industrial operations. Rougher flotation of coppermolybdenum sulphide ores in seawater was investigated using two different cells: A modified Denver cell and a standard commercial cell. The effect of an organic reagent on the flotation performance was tested, and the fast/slow-floating model was used to describe the results. The modified Denver cell significantly improved the reproducibility of the flotation test results, due to technological enhancements such as the impeller being driven from below without a stator, which enables the whole froth surface to be scraped with a paddle at a constant depth and rate. Organic reagents are a promising alternative to inorganic reagents for depressing pyrite in seawater. However, further studies should be conducted to investigate their impact on molybdenite recovery, as well as to evaluate the possibility of depressing pyrite after molybdenite separation. The fast/slow-floating model was found to be appropriate for describing the flotation kinetics of the copper-molybdenum ores. The parameters are useful for comparing the performance at different conditions.
Jeldres, R. I., Calisaya, D., & Cisternas, L. A. (2017). An improved flotation test method and pyrite depression by an organic reagent during flotation in seawater. Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 117(5), 499–504. https://doi.org/10.17159/2411-9717/2017/v117n5a12