Study of new commercial collectors for the recovery of coarse quartz particles in iron ore flotation
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Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Universidad Federal de Minas Gerais
Publication date: 2023-10-20
Corresponding author
Gilberto Rodrigues da Silva   

Universidad Federal de Minas Gerais
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2023;59(5):174292
Currently, a small range of commercial collectors is available for the use in reverse iron ore flotation at Vale. This input represents a considerable unit cost, being essential for the concentration of low content itabiritic iron ores. The present work evaluated the reverse cationic flotation of an itabiritic ore with low iron content (39.6 % Fe) from the Iron Quadrangle (BR) in bench scale tests, focusing on the use of new collectors to remove coarse quartz. The sample presents 19% of its particles as oversize in the 0.150 mm sieve. The poor flotation of coarse quartz particles (>0.150 mm) causes significant problems in various iron ore flotation circuits by contaminating the concentrate. The study evaluated the performance of 10 new collectors from the etheramine family with different degrees of neutralization and at different collector dosages. The flotation process variables were set as industrially practiced at the Cauê iron ore plant (BR). In tests varying the specific collector dosage, the non-neutralized etheramines showed improved performance compared to the current 50% neutralized etheramine used in the plant, achieving industrial targets: concentrate SiO2 content rate lower than 4.5% (1.4%), tailings iron content lower than 23% (18.94%), metallurgical recovery greater than 66% (74,8%), and Gaudin Selectivity Index greater than 6.6 (10.5). The 0.150 mm oversize in the concentrate, mostly coarse quartz particles, was reduced from 5.7% down to 1.2%, indicating the potential for the industrial application of non-neutralized etheramines in the recovery of coarse quartz.
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