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Physical chemistry considerations in the selective flotation of bastnaesite with lauryl phosphate

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2017, Vol. 34, No. 3, pp. 116-124

Liu, W.; Wang, X.; Xu, H.; Miller, J.D.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.19150/mmp.7611


Bastnaesite is one of the important mineral resources for the production of rare earth materials, and it is typically associated with calcite and quartz as gangue minerals. Fatty acid or hydroxamic acid are recommended collectors for bastnaesite flotation. In this research, potassium lauryl phosphate was expected to provide a stronger flotation response for bastnaesite than for the calcite and quartz gangue minerals. Using potassium lauryl phosphate as collector, the results of captive bubble contact angle measurements, zeta potential determinations and microflotation experiments for bastnaesite, calcite and quartz are reported. Greater selectivity for bastnaesite was achieved using potassium lauryl phosphate than using octyl hydroxamate as collector. These results indicate that potassium lauryl phosphate might be a promising collector in the flotation of bastnaesite ores. The computation results of universal force field (UFF) interaction energies for the mineral-reagent interactions are also reported and were found to correlate well with the experimental microflotation results.