According to Eriez Flotation, a leader in advanced flotation technology and a wholly owned subsidiary of Eriez Manufacturing Co, a recent study based on test results supported by engineering analysis indicates that installing a HydroFloat Coarse Particle Flotation (CPF) system in the mill circuit results in a significant decrease in the mill load, cutting power usage in half. The findings also show that approximately 30% of the total run of mine mill feed can be removed from the circuit prior to conventional flotation, resulting in a 40% decrease of conventional flotation capacity, 30-50% reduction in grinding energy and a 30% reduction in tailing management costs.

HydroFloat. Image credit: Eriez Flotation

HydroFloat. Image credit: Eriez Flotation

Eric Bain Wasmund, Eriez Vice President-Global Flotation Business, says, “What our team learned in the lab is now being implemented in the field.” He explains, “North American numbers were provided to show the financial benefits of these improvements.” He adds that results could be even more substantial at more remote sites or those with limited water supply.

“The HydroFloat CPF technology creates new possibilities for extraction companies to meet their environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) goals by improving efficiency and enabling better use of resources,” says Wasmund.

The solution offers an aerated fluidised-bed (or teeter bed) separator that uses the synergistic effect of combining flotation with gravity concentration, resulting in an outcome that cannot be achieved by either approach alone. In the HydroFloat, the air bubbles that are dispersed by fluidisation system rise through the fluidised-bed and attach to the hydrophobic particles, altering their density and rendering them sufficiently buoyant to float and be recovered at the top of the cell.

HydroFloat CPF Separators increase bubble/particle collision rates and residence time while decreasing mixing, turbulence and detachment, and buoyancy restrictions. These advantages lead to drastically improved coarse particle recovery.

The HydroFloat CPF can be applied to sulphides, base metals (e.g., copper, moly, etc.), iron ore, industrial minerals, potash/phosphate, lithium minerals and others. Applications include Coarse Gangue Rejection – Preconcentration (CGR) and Tailings Scavenging (TS).