A study from Eriez showed that installing a HydroFloat Coarse Particle Flotation (CPF) Separator system in the mill circuit results in a significant decrease in the mill load, cutting power usage in half. The study said the system can remove 30% of the feed, reducing the wear and usage of downstream solutions.

Among other things, the study focused on data from North American customers, and highlighted the significant financial benefits of adoption and use of the solution. The benefits could be greater at more remote sites or at those with limited water supply, Eriez said.

Other benefits include improved capacity to meet sustainable development goals.

The HydroFloat CPF Separator is an aerated fluidized-bed separator that uses the synergistic effect of combining flotation with gravity concentration. The air bubbles rise through the fluidized-bed and attach to hydrophobic particles, making them float to be recovered at the top of the cell.

The separator increases bubble-particle collision rates and residence time while decreasing mixing, turbulence and detachment, and buoyancy restrictions, Eriez said. These advantages lead to drastically improved coarse particle recovery.

The solution shows how the supplier innovates during research and development, the company said. “Our team is not making the kind of incremental second-order improvements achieved by simply manufacturing bigger unit operations based on current technology,” said Eric Bain Wasmund, vice president, flotation. “We are focusing on completely rethinking the flotation process, which hasn’t fundamentally changed in more than 100 years.”

HydroFloat CPF can be applied to sulphides, base metals, iron ore, industrial minerals, potash, phosphate, lithium minerals and others. Applications include coarse gangue rejection, preconcentration and tailings scavenging.