Document Type : Original Research Paper


Department of mining Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


Copper oxide minerals such as malachite do not respond well to the traditional copper sulfide collectors, and require alternative flotation schemes. In many copper ore mines, significant copper oxide minerals, especially malachite, are associated with sulfide minerals. Considering that xanthates are most widely used in the flotation of sulfide minerals as well as copper sulfide minerals and, hydroxamate has shown a good selectivity for copper oxide minerals. Use of the synergistic effect of xanthate and hydroxamate can be an effective way to increase the flotation efficiency of copper oxide minerals along with sulfide minerals. In this work, we investigate the individual interactions of potassium amyl xanthate (PAX) and potassium alkyl hydroxamate (HXM) with the natural malachite and explore their synergistic effects on the malachite flotation. The results of solubility of malachite in collector solutions, changes in the malachite surface potential, adsorption kinetics, adsorption densities, dynamic contact angles, FT-IR analyses, and small-scale flotations, are discussed. The results obtained demonstrate that PAX and HXM are chemically co-adsorbed on the malachite surface, and the amount of PAX adsorbed on the malachite surface is considerably increased in the mixed PAX/HXM systems because of the co-adsorption mechanism. The flotation results confirm that the mixed PAX/HXM exhibit a superior flotation performance of malachite compared to the individual system of PAX or HXM. Based on these results, the mixed PAX/HXM exhibit a remarkable synergism effect on malachite surface hydrophobicity.


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