An investigation into using benzohydroxamic acid as a collector for sulfide minerals
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Department of Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University,
Publication date: 2023-11-26
Corresponding author
Kristian E. Waters   

Department of Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University,
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2023;59(5):175662
The mining industry aims to promote responsible chemical use during mineral processing operations to minimize the chemical contamination. Hydroxamic acids, which can form strong chelates with metals, have been shown to have less health and environmental issues when compared to xanthate collectors. In this work, the performance of benzohydroxamic acid (BHA) as a collector for galena, chalcopyrite, and quartz was evaluated. The minerals were conditioned with different concentrations (1.5, 3, and 4.5 kg/t) of collector at pHs 8, 9, and 10. The result showed that the treatment of the mineral surfaces with BHA enhanced the flotation recoveries of the sulfide minerals. High concentrations of benzohydroxamate anion, the protonic dissociation product of BHA, existed at basic pHs, where a chemical reaction between the anion and a metal cation on the mineral surface resulted in the adsorption of the collector onto the mineral surface. The microflotation results showed that the BHA collector was able to successfully recover galena and chalcopyrite. Their flotation recovery was dependent on the conditioning pH. Galena showed a high flotation recovery (up to 86%) at pH 9, whereas chalcopyrite became most hydrophobic at pH values of 8 and 9 (up to 88%). None of the BHA concentrations or conditioning pHs was able to enhance quartz recovery beyond 7%. The research results have implications in the application of BHA for the froth flotation of galena and chalcopyrite.
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