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Froth flotation of the Daisy Mine fluorite ores, Nye County, Nevada
AuthorMcCready, Donald K.
AdvisorHammond, Claude W.
Mining and Metallurgical Engineering
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Batch flotation tests were conducted with samples taken from the Daisy fluorite mine to determine some of the problems facing a future flotation operation. The 8 samples selected for study were those containing fluorite concentrations greater than 36 percent. The remaining 5 samples were rejected because of their low grades. These materials varied widely in their mineralogical composition as the sampling program was intended to accentuate the effects that grade and mineralogy would have upon flotation results. These results, summarized in the data sheets of the Appendix, show that flotation of these ores to a 97 percent fluorite concentrate is possible through the use of a split product flowsheet. Fluorite, still unliberated after a 200 mesh grind and sericitic slimes may be removed to a steel grade product of 72 percent purity. The use of Quebracho, sodium meta silicate and starch as gangue depressants proved to be most effective when an oleic acid and tall oil collector combination was utilized. Mixtures of oleic acid and tall oil gave selective froths which allowed a more effective use of the depressants. After three cleaning cycles and a slime separation, concentrate grades above 97 percent with less than 1 percent total insoluble matter were obtainable with recoveries ranging from 85 to 93 percent. Two samples containing large amounts of calcite and sericite gave the most difficulty with the final concentrate grades being greater than 96 percent but having high carbonate or insoluble residue assays. These samples yielded recoveries greater than 94 percent. Dolomitic ores with fluorite present as minute inclusions were responsible for the lower recoveries. Products obtained through the use of Amargosa River water from the Beatty area were identical to those produced through flotation in Reno water. The only noticeable flotation effect of the native water was that froths derived from Amargosa River water were slightly less stable, and small additional amounts of collector were needed.
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