Although topical research, the study of floatation systems is still complex. Numerous physical and chemical factors are involved in the recovery of valuable minerals by flotation. While the chemistry of the system can be manipulated to improve the performance, the system is limited by the mineralogy of the incoming ore as well as the quality of the process water, which in most cases is not controlled. Stringent water restrictions and regulations have made it a necessity for mines to find alternative sources of water that meet the water demands required for operations. Hence, recycling of on-site process water is becoming a norm for many operations, this recycling changes process water quality over time and influences floatation performance.
This study seeks to understand the impact of ore feed grade on froth stability, entrainment and flotation performance under varying water qualities. The development of a relationship through which the flotation performance may be predicted if the ore feed grade and water quality are known. The study will consider predefined synthetic ore types and water qualities to measure froth stability, floatation performance and entrainment through froth column studies, batch floatation and UCT's high depressant method, respectively.