It has been recognised that the presence of clay minerals in ores adversely affect flotation performance. In this study, changes in rheological properties of the flotation pulps under normal operating conditions were studied with additions of bentonite and kaolinite clays at various concentrations. Zeta potential measurements were also carried out to determine the changes in surface charge due to adsorption of clay particles. The results showed that bentonite clay adversely affects floatability of pyrite while kaolinite clay had a lesser influence on flotation of pyrite. The addition of Ca2+ ions to the pulp containing bentonite modified the rheological characteristics and in turn improved the pyrite flotation. It was also observed Ca2+ ions suppressed the swelling properties of bentonite and altered surface charge properties of bentonite clay particles. It has been shown that the flow index affected the ultimate recovery and it may provide a means to monitor flotation performance in routine plant operations.
Basnayaka, L, Subasinghe, N and Albijanic, B, 2016. Effect of Clay Rheology on Flotation of a Refractory Gold Ore, in Proceedings 13th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference 2016, pp 77–84 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).