Comparison of flash flotation and gravity separation performance in a greenfield gold project


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Erkan E., EKMEKÇİ Z., ALTUN N. E.

PHYSICOCHEMICAL PROBLEMS OF MINERAL PROCESSING, vol.58, no.3, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 58 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.37190/ppmp/146979
  • Journal Name: PHYSICOCHEMICAL PROBLEMS OF MINERAL PROCESSING
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Communication Abstracts, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: gold recovery, flash flotation, gravity separation, modelling, simulation

Abstract

Recovery of gold and gold-containing sulfide mineral particles requires multiple-stage recovery processes starting from the grinding circuits to avoid over-grinding of the liberated gold particles. Due to high density, these gold grains tend to follow the hydrocyclone underflow, and a significant amount of metal increases in the circulating load. Therefore, in recent years the grinding circuits have been designed to improve the recovery of free gold/gold-containing particles in the grinding circuit. Gravity separation (centrifugal gravity separators) and flash flotation processes are commonly used for gold recovery in the grinding circuit. This study used a methodology based on modeling-simulation studies to assess various flowsheet configurations involving flash flotation, gravity separation, and the conventional sulfide mineral flotation process. The standard GRG, flash flotation, and rougher kinetic tests were used for the model development of each process. The laboratory tests and simulation studies showed that gold and sulfur recoveries in flash flotation were approximately 7% and 17% higher than that of the gravity separation process. However, the grade of the gravity concentrate was considerably higher. Therefore, one of these unit processes or their combinations can be selected depending on the ore characteristics and the aim of the recovery process. Simulation studies were performed to illustrate the gold recovery performance of various flowsheet configurations. This methodology could be used effectively for flowsheet development, particularly for greenfield projects.