Use of centrifugal-gravity concentration for rejection of talc and recovery improvement in base-metal flotation

Klein, Bern
Altun, Naci Emre
Ghaffari, Hassan
The possibility of using a centrifugal-gravity concentrator to reject Mg-bearing minerals and minimize metal losses in the flotation of base metals was evaluated. Sample characterization, batch scoping tests, pilot-scale tests, and regrind-flotation tests were conducted on a Ni flotation tailings stream. Batch tests revealed that the Mg grade decreased dramatically in the concentrate products. Pilot-scale testing of a continuous centrifugal concentrator (Knelson CVD6) on the flotation tailings revealed that a concentrate with a low mass yield, low Mg content, and high Ni upgrade ratio could be achieved. Under optimum conditions, a concentrate at 6.7% mass yield was obtained with 0.85% Ni grade at 12.9% Ni recovery and with a low Mg distribution (1.7%). Size partition curves demonstrated that the CVD also operated as a size classifier, enhancing the rejection of talc fines. Overall, the CVD was capable of rejecting Mg-bearing minerals. Moreover, an opportunity exists for the novel use of centrifugal-gravity concentration for scavenging flotation tailings and/or after comminution to minimize amount of Mg-bearing minerals reporting to flotation.