Nitrogen-Based Collectors for Sulfide Flotation – Tecflote™

Additonal authors: Svensson, M.. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:

Proceedings, Vol. Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019, 2019

Lewis, A.

Flotation collectors for sulfide minerals has been traditionally based on xanthate, thiophosphate, thiophosphinate and thiocarbamate, all derived from sulfur chemistry. Tecflote™ is a new family of patented collectors based on nitrile chemistry which can supplement or replace thiol collectors, depending on the ore types. A steep grade-recovery curve typical of Tecflote™ collectors was observed when using Tecflote™ as the main collector for the rougher and cleaner steps allowing a better recovery compared to current thiol collectors while maintaining the desired grade. Additional recovery increase has also been observed by the addition of scavenger steps using Tecflote™ collector in combination with current thiol-based collector. The selectivity seen in the lab is transferred to full scale trial and is clearly seen in the rough flotation where the increase in the rough concentrate grade of 5% after pumping Tecflote S11 directly into the tank cell. The mechanisms for Tecflote’s selectivity towards sulfides are currently under investigation and will be discussed. Results of TOF-SIMS analysis will be presented, demonstrating the collector’s selective affinity to different mineral surfaces in flotation. INTRODUCTION The history of collectors used today started in 1882 when Zeise first made xanthates. It was first used in flotation in 1925 – Cornelius Keller’s first patent (Fuerstenau, Jameson, Yoon, 2007). Between 1928 and 1930 American Cyanamid filed 7 patents for dithiophosphate, including flotation and chemical synthesis of the reagent, the first of which was filed by Christmann in 1928 (Christmann, 1933). Synthesize of thionocarbamates for mineral flotation was filed in 1954, by Dow Chemical Company (Harris, 1954). Now that the head grades have been declining over the last decades the need to find more selective collectors to extract difficult and complex ores has pushed the industry to look at different chemistries. Thiol collectors standard to the industry rely on the sulfur in the collector molecule to bond to the mineral surface. The electronic property of this group is modified by the adjacent chemical groups, such as additional S, P or N have the effect of changing the selectivity of the collector (Wills & Finch, 2016). In the case of xanthate the length of the hydrophobic group also has an effect on the selectivity with some minerals such that the ethyl xanthate is more selective against pyrite and pyrrhotite than the long chain xanthates (Wills & Finch, 2016).
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019