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A Comparison of Two Circuit Applications for Implementation of Coarse Particle Flotation
CIM ACADEMY. Wasmund E. 10/14/20; 308494; 819030
Dr. Eric Wasmund
Dr. Eric Wasmund
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To understand how coarse size flotation in a fluidized bed works and to understand the benefits of using this technology in the tail scavenging application and the coarse gangue rejection application.

The use of fluidized beds to enhance the flotation efficiency of coarse particles has been practised industrially using Eriez' HydroFloat® separator in phosphate and potash for many years and has recently been successfully extended to sulfide minerals. This promising technology will recover “lost” coarse metal units, which can be 5-10% of the metal units contained in the mill feed.

In the “tailings scavenging” operating philosophy, the HydroFloat® will enhance production revenues with a small increase to capital and operating costs. This application allows the feed to the mill circuit to be incrementally increased, with an increase in the average particle size reporting to the flotation circuit, using the HydroFloat as a “back-stop.” Although highly profitable, this configuration does not enable other “green” benefits, such as reductions in energy, conventional flotation capacity, water consumption and the amount of final waste stored in conventional tailing facilities. These additional benefits are possible by considering a “coarse gangue rejection” operating philosophy.

Where is the best flowsheet location to add a coarse particle flotation (CPF) unit, and what will a CPF optimized flow-sheet look like? In this paper we will generically consider both of these questions. To illustrate, we will present test-work and standard mineral processing calculations to show the benefits of two different CPF installations taking advantage of the same ore body and mill product.

The use of fluidized beds to enhance the flotation efficiency of coarse particles has been practised industrially using Eriez' HydroFloat® separator in phosphate and potash for many years and has recently been successfully extended to sulfide minerals. This promising technology will recover “lost” coarse metal units, which can be 5-10% of the metal units contained in the mill feed.

In the “tailings scavenging” operating philosophy, the HydroFloat® will enhance production revenues with a small increase to capital and operating costs. This application allows the feed to the mill circuit to be incrementally increased, with an increase in the average particle size reporting to the flotation circuit, using the HydroFloat as a “back-stop.” Although highly profitable, this configuration does not enable other “green” benefits, such as reductions in energy, conventional flotation capacity, water consumption and the amount of final waste stored in conventional tailing facilities. These additional benefits are possible by considering a “coarse gangue rejection” operating philosophy.

Where is the best flowsheet location to add a coarse particle flotation (CPF) unit, and what will a CPF optimized flow-sheet look like? In this paper we will generically consider both of these questions. To illustrate, we will present test-work and standard mineral processing calculations to show the benefits of two different CPF installations taking advantage of the same ore body and mill product.
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