Dispersion study on slimes from Niobec

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 80, No. 908, 1987

R. ESPINOSA-GOMEZ, J.A. FINCH, and A.R. LAPLANTE, Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, McGill University, McGill University

The Niobec concentrator rejects up to 15 % of the Nb as slimes (-lOpm). The recovery of Nb from these slimes by column flotation is being studied. An essential condition for selective flotation is slimes dispersion. A particle size analyzer, the Sedigraph 5000D, was used to monitor dispersion in plant waters with combinations of organic and inorganic dispersants and flotation reagents. Flotation reagents were particularly detrimental to dispersion with sodium silicate. The best dispersion conditions were selected for column flotation tests. These tests revealed that reagent combination had a pronounced effect on froth stability. Careful frather selection achieved good froth stability under conditions of good dispersion. Plant water increased the required dispersant concentration causing mineral depression.
Keywords: Mineral processing, Flotation, Dispersion, Niobec, Pyrochlore flotation, Carbonate flotation, Slimes, Frothers, Froth coalescence.