Sergei Ivanovich Evdokimov, Nikolay S. Golikov, Denis A. Zadkov, Elena V. Voitovich, Viktor V. Kondratiev, Aleksey A. Petrovskiy, Vladimir Yu. Konyukhov, Vitaliy A. Gladkikh

Studying the Flotation of Gold-Bearing Ores Using Carrier Minerals

  • Geology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

This work is aimed at the analysis of the development of flotation technology by applying carrier minerals. Based on the concepts of continuum mechanics, a theoretical analysis of the influence of the carrier minerals (wall) on the motion of a single solid particle is provided, taking into account their hydrodynamic interaction (in the case of low Reynolds numbers). A correction was obtained in the form of a ratio of the particle size to its distance from the wall to take into account the influence of the wall on the hydrodynamic force acting on the particle. The influence of the wall is manifested through a rapid approximation of the liquid vortex flow in the gap between the solid wall and the particle to the steady-state mode, accompanied by the suppression of the transverse movement of particles. When the liquid slides along a wall-mounted gas–liquid layer with a reduced viscosity, the liquid flow increases in the interfacial gap, which can be analyzed by a dimensionless correction that includes values describing the properties of a continuous medium (dynamic viscosity) and a disperse phase (geometric particle size). The reason for the decrease in the induction time when gold grains adhere to each other is assumed to be due to the forces of hydrophobic attraction (when the grains have a mirror-smooth surface) and the sliding of the flow along the hydrophobic surface of the particles along the gas layer (when the grains have a rough surface). When polydisperse particles are aggregated, the threshold energy of the fast coagulation was established to be lower than that arising during the interaction of monodisperse particles, whose aggregation requires a large depth of the potential pit. Performing natural experiments on the ore using a rougher concentrate as a carrier material showed that the concentrate yield decreases by 20.52% rel. In the second case, the gold extraction was higher by 4.69% abs. While maintaining the achieved level of gold extraction, the double mixing of the rougher concentrate and the initial feed increased the gold content in the rougher concentrate from 4.97 to 6.29 g/t.

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