The effect of the use of ultrasound in the froth phase on the flotation performance has been investigated in relation to the flotation rate of a complex sulphide ore. A series of kinetic flotation tests with and without ultrasound were conducted in a flotation machine with a 2-L cell, in which an ultrasonic probe is located in the froth zone. The results indicate that there is a considerable effect of ultrasound on separation selectivity and efficiency in the flotation of a complex sulphide ore at intermediate and high level airflow rates whereas, no significant differences in the separation performance were obtained from the flotation with and without ultrasound at low airflow rates. In addition, the results of the size-by-size analysis show that a much better cleaning action in the froth was promoted for coarse particles rather than fine particles as a result of the use of ultrasound. As a result of increase in the bubble coalescence, it was found that the use of ultrasound in the froth is more effective at shallow froths. Therefore, either effective pulp volume can be increased with a negligible loss of flotation performance or the pulp density can be decreased to obtain better product quality with the use of ultrasound in shallow froths. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.