South African Journal of Science
On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353
Dithiocarbonate (xanthate) collectors have been the workhorse of the sulphide flotation industry for more than 80 years. More recently, some flotation plants have started to use a new collector, trithio-carbonate (TTC). Extensive research has been conducted on the interaction of different substrates with xanthates, which adsorb electrochemically and are present as a chemisorbed xanthate, metal xanthate or dixanthogen. The work reported here is the first detailed, fundamental evaluation of a long-chain trithiocarbonate collector for sulphide minerals. The results show that this collector-unlike the widely used xanthate collector-has a strong non-electrochemical collection action in addition to an electrochemical one. The non-electrochemical action opens up significant possibilities of changing mill conditions (specifically regarding the propensity of sulphide minerals to oxidize), to obtain better sulphide recovery.