Designed Collectors for Selective Flotation

Reference number
Coordinator Luleå tekniska universitet - Avd för kemiteknik
Funding from Vinnova SEK 500 000
Project duration September 2016 - February 2017
Status Completed
Venture The strategic innovation programme for mining and metal recovery – STRIM

Purpose and goal

The aims were to synthesize a new collector with two functional xanthate headgroups to test selectivity for Cu-Ni sulfides in one of Boliden´s ores compared with PAX used today. A method to produce the collector in larger scale (1 kg) were to be developed. Flotation tests with the collector were to be made in lab scale on pure minerals and on selected ores from Boliden´s mine in Kevitsa. The synthesis method was developed and optimised, flotation tests were performed both on pure minerals and on ores from Kevitsa and Kylylahti and the results were compared with currently used collector (PAX).

Expected results and effects

A method for upscaling collector production was developed and optimised regarding number of steps, max volume, choice of regents and solvents. Unit operations not suitable for upscaling were removed. Flotation tests on pure minerals showed ca 80% recovery for chalcopyrite, galena and pentlandite for all versions of the collector. Sphalerite and pyrrhotite gave less recovery (40% and 25%). Tests on recovery and Cu/Ni selectivity for ores from Kevitsa and Kylylahti showed that the new collector was neither better nor worse than the references.

Planned approach and implementation

Different versions of the collector with different distances between xanthate groups were synthesised in small scale. One version was chosen for larger scale synthesis. NMR was used to control purity, intermediates and end product. Hallimond flotation was used with different collector versions to study differences in recovery for pure sulfide minerals at different pH and collector concentrations. Lab scale tests on the new collector was performed on ores with different composition from Kevitsa/Kylylahti. The results were compared with present flotation protocol as reference.

The project description has been provided by the project members themselves and the text has not been looked at by our editors.

Last updated 25 November 2019

Reference number 2016-02633

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