Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
GREET, C.J.. The significance of grinding environment on the flotation of UG2 ores. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2009, vol.109, n.1, pp. 31-37. ISSN 2411-9717.
A large body of work exists discussing the impact of grinding media on mineral flotation. Generally, the work indicates that a change to a less electrochemically active grinding environment has positive benefits on downstream processing. There is a fear, however, that these benefits may not be realized when treating low sulphide containing ores, typified by UG2 style deposits. A series of experiments was developed to test the flotation response of UG2 ores using the Magotteaux Mill® to determine if measurable differences in the pulp chemistry could be discerned using a range of grinding media types. Further, the flotation responses of the contained sulphides (chalcopyrite, pentlandite and pyrrhotite) were determined. The data collected provided strong evidence that the grinding environment can significantly influence the pulp chemistry and flotation characteristics of all sulphide minerals, even when the ore contains less than 0.5 per cent total sulphide. The results show that the change to an inert media type produced a substantial improvement in the flotation rate of all sulphide minerals, as well as the PGMs.