Effect of pulp rheology on flotation of nickel sulphide ore with fibrous gangue particles

Genc A. M. , Kilickaplan I., Laskowski J. S.

CANADIAN METALLURGICAL QUARTERLY, vol.51, no.4, pp.368-375, 2012 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 51 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1179/1879139512y.0000000006
  • Page Numbers: pp.368-375
  • Keywords: Flotation, Pentlandite, Serpentinite, Chrysotile, Fibrous minerals, Fine particle flotation, Rheology, SUSPENSIONS, CHRYSOTILE, SEPARATION, LIZARDITE, MINERALS, SPHERES, FLOW


Tests are carried out with suspensions of fibrous chrysotile particles and nickel sulphide ore containing chrysotile as a gangue. They corroborate published results, and indicate a very strong effect of particle shape on slurry rheology. Such suspensions exhibit time dependent properties. The flotation tests revealed that the viscosity of this system strongly affects flotation performance. At a solids concentration of 15-20% (w/w), the concentrate yield increases and the concentrate grade dramatically declines. This deterioration is observed when the Casson yield stress exceeds 1.5-2 Pa. The tests imply that the rheological properties of the investigated system are mainly determined by fibrous components. However, because of the presence of anisotropic mineral particles, the effect of particle-particle interactions cannot be separated from the effect of particle shape in this system.