Document Type : Case Study


School of Mining Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


This paper presents a new approach for flotation circuit design. Initially, it was proven numerically and analytically that in order to achieve the highest recovery in different circuit configurations, the best equipment must be placed at the beginning stage of the flotation circuits. The size of the entering particles and the types of streams including pulp and froth were considered as the basis for specialization of the flotation processes. In the new approach, the flotation process plays as the two functions of primary and secondary concentrations. The proposed approach was applied to a lead flotation circuit of a lead-zinc flotation plant. The results obtained showed that in most traditional-oriented circuits, a large part of the streams containing valuable metals were returned to the rougher stage, which, in turn, reduced the efficiency and caused perturbation. In the new approach, providing more control over unit operations in the circuit could provide a higher performance. In addition, in cases where zinc minerals are liberated from their gangue in coarse size, the new approach, by generating coarse-grained tailing, can prevent excessive grinding of zinc minerals in the feed into the zinc flotation circuit.


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