Title page for ETD etd-09042008-160536

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Nashwa, Velaphi Moses
Email moses.nashwa@exxaro.com
URN etd-09042008-160536
Document Title The flotation of high talc-containing ore from the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe
Degree MSc
Department Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering
Advisor Name Title
Prof J C Davidtz Co-Supervisor
Dr M K G Vermaak Supervisor
  • dithiophosphate
  • hudro cyclones
  • collector
  • platinum-group metals
  • froth flotation
  • de-sliming
  • talc
  • X-Ray
  • sodium isobutyl xanthate
  • trithiocarbonates
Date 2008-04-11
Availability unrestricted

This project investigates the optimisation of platinum-group metals recovery at the Mimosa Mine in Zimbabwe. The first part of this research investigates how collector performance can be improved by using collector combinations (mixtures) of the standard sodium iso-butyl xanthate with a secondary collector. The synergistic effect of the sodium-iso-butyl-xanthate (SIBX) combined with trithiocarbonates (TTCs) or dithiophosphates (DTP) was investigated. The short chain and the long chain TTCs were investigated. These collector combinations were studied at various molar percent ratios. The SIBX:DTP combination was studied at a 1:1 mass ratio or molar ratio of 1:1.3.

Amongst all the collector combinations, it was established that the SIBX/DTP combination improved sulphur recoveries by 10% and subsequently the PGE+Au recovery by 10% compared to when the SIBX was used on its own. The C4-TTC showed poor performance in the sulphur recovery; however an improvement in PGE + Au recovery was noticeable. There was generally no significant metallurgical improvement with respect to final grades and recoveries with C10 and C12TTC mixtures with SIBX. However, the 6.25 molar per cent substitution of SIBX by C12TTC appeared to show some improvement on sulphur but not on PGM+Au recovery and grade. It was therefore concluded that the SIBX/DTP combination at 1:1 mass ratio (total moles of 0.64) showed a potential to improve the grades and recoveries of the Mimosa Mine.

The Mimosa ore is characterised by an unusually large amount of talc, which often causes problems during the flotation of the PGM minerals due to the fact that talc consumes high amount of reagents. Therefore the purpose of the second part of this thesis was to investigate the possibility of removing talc prior to the flotation process by de-sliming. Two cyclones (36.9 mm and 76.0 mm) were used for de-sliming the flotation feed. De-sliming the ore was able to reduce the depressant dosage up to 300 g/t as opposed to 500 g/t that is used at Mimosa Mine.

University of Pretoria 2007

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