Froth flotation of iron ores is one of the most widely used methods to upgrade iron ore into high-grade concentrates. In recent years, reverse cationic flotation of iron ores has been specifically the subject of several studies. Since quartz is the most common gangue mineral in iron ores, understanding the behaviour of this mineral was the main target of the majority of such studies. However, with the depletion of mineral deposits considered rich and easy to process, it has become more common to find iron ores with complex gangue minerals, which are composed not only of quartz but by a variety of silicates. The mineralogical composition of the ore is an important factor for determining reagents and mineral processing parameters. The mineralogical suite of an ore also presents a paramount role for operational optimisation of any given flotation process. Some studies were performed with different types of amphiboles and other Fe-bearing silicates, for example, but the influence of the mineralogical nature of these silicates in reverse cationic flotation has not been fully explored and will be discussed here. Changes in the traditionally used reagent scheme for reverse cationic flotation, generally including alkaline pH values, polysaccharides as depressant (mainly starches) and primary ether amines and diamines, are expected when dealing with iron ores with complex silicate gangue composition.
Veloso de Melo, C H, Correa de Araujo, A and Filippov, L O, 2017. Reverse cationic flotation of iron ores with complex silicate gangue minerals, in Proceedings Iron Ore 2017, pp 241–244 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).