To cite this article: Meso, M. F. et al. (2016). An evaluation of sodium ethyl xanthate for the froth flotation upgrading of a carbonatitic copper ore. J. Phys. Sci., 27(2), 13–21, http://dx.doi.org/10.21315/jps2016.27.2.2
The carbonatitic Palabora copper ore was ground to the less energy intensive coarse size consisting of 45% passing 75 μm in a ball mill for 20 min and froth floated in a 4.5 l Denver cell at varying dosages of the highly selective sodium ethyl xanthate (SETX) at 200, 250, 300, 350 and 400 g/t. The concentrates were collected every 15 s at varying scraping times of 3, 7 and 10 min. The results obtained showed that highest recovery of 86.1% was obtained at the 300 g/t SETX dosage with the lowest grade of 11.29%, while the highest grade of 13.95% occurred at the lowest recovery of 78%. The dosages of SETX used for the flotation was found to be generally higher than that of sodium iso-propyl xanthate (SIPX) used for another copper ore of non-carbonatitic origin. However, the successful flotation of the ore ground coarser than the conventional practice of 80% passing 75 μm is economically significant in view of the potential power conservation obtainable.