Predicting Locked Cycle Flotation Test Results from Batch Data

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 799, 1978

G.E. Agar, Section Head, Mineral Processing, and W.B. Kipkie, Group Leader, Mineral Processing, Inco Metals Company, J. Roy Gordon Research Laboratory, Sheridan Park, Mississauga, Ontario

This paper deals with the prediction of locked cycle flotation results from data developed from individual batch tests. A postulate is made that the distribution of material in a separation stage is determined by the chemical conditions and the flotation time and that this distribution can be characterized by split factors which are constants for a fixed set of conditions. With this premise, it is demonstrated that a steady-state balance can be calculated for a circuit.Although the necessary equations can be solved algebraically, a computer program was written that uses an iterative technique to arrive at the steady-state balance. The program is written so that a variety of circuits can readily be simulated.A number of examples are examined to demonstrate the validity of this simulation procedure. The sensitivity of the material balance to changes in the split factors was examined. Data developed from different flowsheets are presented on sulphide ores, on copper-nickel separation and on silver flotation.
Keywords: Mineral processing, Flotation, Locked-cycle flotation, Simulation, Computer programs, Separation, Talcose ore, Silver concentration, Pipe ore, Copper, Nickel.