Beneficiation of borax by reverse flotation in boron saturated brine

Cilek E. C., Uresin H.

JOURNAL OF COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE, vol.290, no.2, pp.426-430, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Flotation is one of the plausible methods for recovering borax fines discharged as fine waste to the tailings dam in the Kirka borax processing plant. A literature review dealing with the flotation behavior of boron minerals reveals that clay minerals in the boron ores coat boron minerals and thus deteriorate the quality of boron concentrates produced by direct flotation. The main objective of this study is therefore to recover borax fines from the tailings of the concentrator by reverse flotation. A three-level-factor experimental design was used to determine the main and interaction effects of variables selected on the metallurgical performance of reverse flotation. An analysis of variance for experimental results indicates that interaction effects of the variables for concentrate quality and recovery of B2O3 is nonsignificant and the most important variable for grade of concentrate and recovery is the collector dosage. It is shown that a concentrate assaying 11.25% B2O3 with 89.90% B2O3 recovery could be produced by means of single-stage (tougher) reverse flotation. Additionally, in order to produce a sufficient-quality concentrate, a multistage reverse flotation scheme involving rougher, scavenger, and two cleaners was devised. A final concentrate containing 23.47% B2O3 with 81.78% B2O3 recovery was obtained from these tests. The reverse flotation method can be thus considered as an important option for the beneficiation of borax fines. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.