Flash flotation is a process designed to remove coarse, liberated, fast floating minerals from hydrocyclone underflow. Irrespective of liberation, coarse particles would normally remain in a grinding circuit until they are reground fine enough to report to the hydrocyclone overflow. Additionally, minerals of high density also report to hydrocyclone underflow despite being fine in size and/or liberated because hydrocyclones separate on the characteristics of both particle size and density. Dense particles continually reporting to the hydrocyclone underflow can lead to over-grinding and the production of ultra fine particles. These particles exhibit slow flotation kinetics and thus are difficult to float in conventional flotation circuits. Therefore, removing coarse, liberated particles from the hydrocylcone underflow by flash flotation has the potential to improve recovery and can improve dewatering unit operations and reduce grinding costs.
The impact on the overall performance of the flotation circuit by removing coarse, fast floating minerals prior to conventional flotation is not well understood. Ultimately, predicting the overall recovery improvement provides the justification for the installation of a flash flotation cell within the milling circuit. This paper will describe attempts to estimate flash flotation recovery improvements to the overall circuit using kinetic data from simplified batch cell flotation tests combined with limn-based modelling techniques.
D, Dunne, R and Holtham, P, 2012. Modelling the impact of flash flotation from
batch cell flotation tests using limn, in Proceedings 11th AusIMM Mill
Operators’ Conference, pp 179-184 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).