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Eflects important differences in Flotation Equipment characteristics

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"While grindability changes due to the variation in ore properties are disturbances to the grinding circuit, they generate feed rate changes as disturbances to the flotation circuit. The variations in ore properties which affect flotation from those assumed in the design criteria must therefore necessarily include grindability changes."This reflects important differences in Flotation Equipment characteristics between the two processes. Grinding circuits are built and designed with fixed total mill volumes and energy input, so the grinding intensity is not a controllable variable, instead grinding retention time is changed by variation of feed rates.

In contrast, the flotation circuit is provided both with adjustable froth and pulp volume for variation of flotation intensity by aeration rate or hydrodynamic adjustment. Reagent levels and dosages provide a further means for intensity control."The Metplant ’13 conference started on July 14, with the GD Delprat Distinguished Lecture on Flotation given by Prof Graeme Jameson, Laureate Professor at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and one of the nominees to the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame. His lecture ‘Size matters- coarse and quick flotation can reduce costs’ discussed the everpresent need to reduce the costs of mining and milling operations. The greatest cost in ore concentration is the energy consumed in size reduction, particularly in grinding.Some progress has been made in reducing energy consumption in grinding, through better use of existing technologies, and the introduction of grinding methods such as HPGR.

Flotation has promoted a wide scope of research activities ranging from fundamental chemistry and hydrodynamic studies to studies of industrial operations. In general, fundamental studies have been mainly related to ideal situations. In recent years, however, large efforts have been focusing on achieving a better insight into the actual sub-processes provided by the development of new and more sophisticated instrumentation. Since the massive incorporation of Flotation Machine columns, around 15 years ago, a renewed interest in flotation fundamental studies, process modelling and new cell designs have been observed worldwide. The key role of the froth has been recognized as an independent and sometimes rate limiting process step. Thus, separation of pulp and froth process stages seems the most appropriate in terms of process modelling, diagnostic, design and scale-up purposes.

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