AkzoNobel reported that one of its senior managers presented a paper at the X CIS Congress of Mineral Processing Engineers on optimizing reverse flotation of iron ore, especially magnetite ores. The presentation discussed the effects of ore type, water quality and type of collector on froth properties. The congress event took place February 17–19 at the World Trade Center in Moscow, Russia.

“A key benefit of our methodology for studying froth characteristics is the ability to better predict what happens in large scale,” said Andrey Danilov, senior sales manager, AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry. “The methodology complements traditional flotation tests, improves knowledge of froth properties, and enables us to assist customers in situations where etheramine collectors produce too much froth.”

He cited reducing froth by using Lilaflot 628M collector as an example of development work to support magnetite customers in improving froth stability.

AkzoNobel, based in The Netherlands, offers flotation systems for both magnetite and hematite type iron ores worldwide. The use of silica flotation will continue to grow as more complex ores are mined, while the steel industry demands higher-grade iron concentrates with lower impurities.

Flotation systems for removing silica from magnetite ores have to be designed differently from flotation systems for the treatment of hematite ore. In magnetite flotation, the collector must be able to float mixed magnetite-silica grains; in hematite flotation, the typical need is to float fully liberated quartz from hematite.

The company’s Lilaflot collectors, for the removal of gangue (silica), can be used to produce high-grade concentrates for iron ore pellet production and super-concentrates for advanced metallurgical applications.

“We select the best collector based on three principles. One, every ore is unique; two, every ore is treated in a unique process; and three, optimum process performance is achieved with customized collectors,” said Josefin Lannefors, global marketing manager–mining at AkzoNobel.

The company said its portfolio of innovative chemical solutions for mining is a result of more than 50 years of research and development in molecular and surface chemistry, combined with close collaboration with customers and in-depth field experience. The company’s flotation collectors provide solutions not only for iron, but for phosphate, calcite, potash, niobium, silicates, graphite and other minerals.