As part of an effort to provide basic data on the fundamental scientific and engineering principles of minerals beneficiation, the Bureau of Mines is conducting research on the flocculation of mineral fines. This paper presents results of studies using crosslinked starches containing carboxyl, diethanolamine, iminodiacetic acid, and xanthate groups to flocculate hematite, geothite, chromite, manganite, pyrolusite, cuprite, and cassiterite fines. The carboxyl and xanthate derivatives flocculated all minerals except cassiterite; the latter was flocculated by only the diethanolamine derivative. The iminodiacetic acid derivative flocculated hematite, geothite, chromite, cuprite, and pyrolusite fines. Zeta potential measurements were made to help define the reaction mechanism responsible for flocculation. These measurements indicate that electrostatic attraction probably is not involved, except possibly in the case of the diethanolamine derivative. The separation of hematite from quartz by selective flocculation with chelating crosslinked starches under two ph conditions and with two dispersing agents is described. Best recoveries and grades were found when either the carboxyl or xanthate derivatives was added at the natural ph of the pulp in the absence of a dispersing agent.
Pres. At 112th AIME Ann. Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, March 6-10, 1983, Sme Preprint 83-195, PP. 1-9