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South African Journal of Science

On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353

S. Afr. j. sci. vol.103 n.3-4 Pretoria Mar./Apr. 2007




Dithiocarbonate and trithiocarbonate interactions with pyrite



J.A. Venter; M.K.G. Vermaak

Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa




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.



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Received 1 June
Accepted 30 September 2006.



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