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Effect of pulp rheology on flotation of nickel sulphide ore with fibrous gangue particles

Genc, A. Merve
Kilickaplan, I.
Laskowski, J. S.
Tests are carried out with suspensions of fibrous chrysotile particles and nickel sulphide ore containing chrysotile as a gangue. They corroborate published results, and indicate a very strong effect of particle shape on slurry rheology. Such suspensions exhibit time dependent properties. The flotation tests revealed that the viscosity of this system strongly affects flotation performance. At a solids concentration of 15-20% (w/w), the concentrate yield increases and the concentrate grade dramatically declines. This deterioration is observed when the Casson yield stress exceeds 1.5-2 Pa. The tests imply that the rheological properties of the investigated system are mainly determined by fibrous components. However, because of the presence of anisotropic mineral particles, the effect of particle-particle interactions cannot be separated from the effect of particle shape in this system.