Mining - Flotation

One of the most widely used methods of recovering valuable minerals in the mining industry is using froth flotation tanks. Inside these tanks, the ground ore is mixed with water to form a slurry. Hydrophobic materials then separate from hydrophilic materials through the use of chemical additives.

The tanks, known as flotation cells, are agitated; this adds air, forming bubbles to which the hydrophobic minerals link. As a result, the minerals rise to the top of the cell. There, they collect in a launder. The ore that does not float is taken away as tailings, which may be subjected to further flotation.

This method is used to extract valuable minerals such as gold, copper, zinc and coal.

Hycontrol has been at the forefront of foam detection and measurement for many years. As a result, we are used to dealing with applications where the foam is an issue, controlling dosing pumps to eliminate it. However, in flotation, the foam is literally where the money is! Working alongside renowned engineering company FLSmidth, Hycontrol have developed the FloatSense foam monitoring system specifically for this valuable application.

When installed in a flotation cell, this foam level monitoring system enables users to accurately determine the slurry/froth interface and the height of the froth column. This technology provides superior control over the floatation cell for the extraction of minerals, maximising efficiency and profitability.

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