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Laboratory testing for sulfide flotation process development

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2016, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 200-213

Thompson, P.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.19150/mmp.6841


A carefully planned laboratory test program is the foundation for the successful development of a sulfide flotation process. In this paper, the development of a copper-molybdenum flotation process is described. However, the concepts discussed can be applied to most sulfide flotation systems and to many industrial minerals projects as well. Each step is examined, beginning with sample procurement and covering sample preparation, flotation test preparation grinding, scoping flotation tests for reagent scheme selection, rougher flotation parameter evaluation and cleaner circuit evaluation, through to locked-cycle testing and pilot plant design and operation. Ore variability and modeling to determine the response of various ore types to the optimum conditions established is also examined.