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Role of Sodium Hexametaphosphate in the Flotation of Acanthite Fines from Finely Disseminated Ores

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The improvement of the flotation of acanthite fines from a finely disseminated ore through the addition of sodium hexametaphosphate (SHMP) as the dispersant has been studied in this work. This study was carried out on the silver scavenger concentrate from the Fresnillo concentration plant in Mexico. The experimental results have shown that the dispersion processing by adding SHMP as the dispersant greatly increased the separation efficiency and the flotation rate of acanthite fines from the ore. This increase was much more remarkable for smaller mineral particles. It has been found that the improvement might be attributed to the fact that SHMP increased simultaneously the electric double layer repulsion and steric repulsion between minerals (valuable and gangue) particles in aqueous suspensions upon the adsorption of polymetaphosphate anions on the mineral surfaces, and thus eliminated the hetero-coagulation of the fine mineral particles in the aqueous ore suspension.

Keywords: Acanthite; fine mineral particles; froth flotations; sodium hexametaphosphates

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01496390903017477

Affiliations: Instituto de Metalurgia, Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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