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Effects of major ions in recycled water on sulfide minerals flotation

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2016, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 137-143

Bulut, G.; Yenial, Ü.



The use of recycled water in flotation has significant effects on flotation and selectivity because the recycled water contains many dissolved compounds and ions that alter the chemistry of the system. In this study, the effects of calcium, magnesium and sulfate, which are abundant components in recycled water, were investigated on galena, sphalerite and pyrite flotation using pure minerals and a complex sulfide ore by conducting bench-scale flotation, microflotation and zeta potential measurements. The bench-scale flotation tests indicated that higher recoveries of galena and sphalerite are obtained when water is recycled, due to higher concentrations of ions in recycled water. However, there was a critical ion concentration for galena recovery. The microflotation tests showed that galena recoveries at different pHs in recycled water are lower than in tap and distilled water. Pure sphalerite recoveries improved in recycled water in the bench-scale test with ore. Pure pyrite was depressed with recycled water as well. Zeta potentials became less negative with increased calcium and magnesium ion concentrations due to their adsorptions, and the presence of sulfate ions was seen to increase the negative charges of sphalerite and pyrite, conversely for galena.