The characterisation of the flotation kinetic response in future mining deposits is important because the flotation response is affected by changes in ore mineralogy. Current methods for characterising the flotation response of different ore types, such as the JK floatability index test (JKFIT) methodology, require at least 10 kg of feed material. In geometallurgical applications, this material is taken from core samples. Core samples are generally obtained using specialised drills and are limited in nature. Thus, it would be beneficial to develop a laboratory technique that required less sample material but still characterised the flotation response of different ore types. The JK mineral separation index (JKMSi) is a small-scale flotation test that requires significantly less feed material (10 g of sample/data point). This study aims to investigate the JKMSi system kinetics and to validate this technique using the JKFIT proven methodology. The JKMSi flotation kinetics were manipulated by varying selected system parameters. The relationship between these parameters and mineral recovery was used to obtain floatability characteristics of the ore. For an ore sample containing chalcopyrite and pyrite, it was found that the chalcopyrite floatability parameters determined from both the JKMSi and JKFIT tests were of the same order of magnitude and the mass fractions of the fast, slow and non-floating components were similar. For pyrite, the floatability parameters were not of the same order of magnitude, but modifications to the test procedure have been identified, which may correct this.
S, Bradshaw, D J and Schwarz, S, 2012. Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Separation
Index – Small-scale test to characterise the flotation response of an ore type,
in Proceedings 11th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference, pp 159-162 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).