The Jameson Cell for Pre-Rougher Applications in Base and Precious Metals
Additonal authors: Price, Adam. 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
The rougher flotation stage is used to reject liberated gangue at a coarse size. Base and precious metals due to their high specific gravity tend to recycle in the grinding circuit and report to the flotation circuit at a finer size than the gangue from which it is being separated. Generally liberation levels of greater than 50% are achieved in roughing and thus a portion of the feed can be immediately upgraded to final concentrate. The proportion increasing as the amount of liberated mineral in the feed increases. Scalping out concentrate from the rougher can reduce the size of the subsequent regrind and cleaner circuits. Examples of alternative process design for circuits demonstrates that you don’t need large volumes to effectively recover all of the minerals – you need smart flotation. Several case studies will be presented where circuits can be significantly reduced in size by designing smarter – not larger. This paper describes case studies to test the amenability of the Jameson Cell to produce final concentrate from rougher feed. Metallurgical performance and plant design implications are discussed.
Froth flotation has been used extensively for mineral concentration for over 100 years. Although the flotation cell design has changed, it has generally simply increased in capacity rather than increase in efficiency. Cell capacities of over 600 m3 are now being used in rougher flotation particularly for the lower grade ores where the amount of surface area for flotation is deemed less significant than the required volume. The plant design volume in rougher flotation comes from laboratory batch flotation tests and/or pilot plants. The volume required for the plant is calculated based on the laboratory residence time multiplied by a scale- up factor. Examples of laboratory to plant scale-up design are given in Dunne et al. (2010 part 2). The factors are usually between 2 and 3. A laboratory residence time of 10 minutes would equate to a plant design residence time of 25 minutes using a 2.5 factor. The volume of the required flotation cells can then be calculated using the design tonnage and volumetric throughput. This scale-up factor takes into account the differences in performance between batch flotation efficiency and full scale plant. The differences are likely related to inefficiencies of bubble particle contact in large cells as well as froth recovery, which is essentially complete in a batch cell.
Flotation cells, such as the Jameson Cells, are smarter designs that improve bubble/particle collection, bubble/pulp separation efficiency and operate with high froth recovery rather than simply getting bigger. The Jameson Cell was designed on the principal of improving the collection efficiency of fine particles by separating the contact zone from the separation zone and having the bubbles generated by the plunging jet shearing and entraining air. This means the method of bubble generation is not impacted by the wear of mechanical equipment as it the case in other flotation devices. Jameson Cells make bubbles less than 600 micron in size under most operating conditions (Ding, 2016).
Copper 2019, COM2019