Sulfide Minerals Flotation Process

In mineral processing, flotation is a method used to separate and concentrate ores by altering their surfaces to a hydrophobic or hydrophilic condition. In another word, flotation is a process of separating the substances contained in pulverized ore or the like by depositing the mixture on the surface of a flowing liquid, the substances that are quickly wet readily overcoming the surface tension of the liquid and sinking, the others flowing off in a film or slime on the surface, though, perhaps, having a greater specific gravity than those that sink. Following we will introduce the sulfide minerals and the process plant.

Sulfide Minerals

What’s Sulfide Mineral?

The sulfide minerals are a class of minerals containing sulfide (S2−) or disulfide (S22−) as the major anion. Most of the sulfides are simple structurally, exhibit high symmetry in their crystal forms, and have many of the properties of metals, including metallic luster and electrical conductivity. They often are strikingly colored and have a low hardness and high specific gravity. Some sulfide minerals are economically important as metal ores. The sulfide class also includes the selenides, the tellurides, the arsenides, the antimonides, the bismuthinides, the sulfarsenides and the sulfosalts. Sulfide minerals are inorganic compounds. 

Sulfide ores, which are generally mined from underground and often found in conjunction with copper-bearing ores, contain copper–iron sulfides in association with nickel–iron sulfides.

sulfide minerals

Sulfide Ores Features

Physical Property

  • Color: Sulfide mostly contains bright colors.
  • Solubility: The acid sulfides of metals are soluble in water, but only alkali metal sulfides and ammonium sulfide are soluble in normal salt.


Chemical Property

  • Hydrolysis: Metal sulfides will be hydrolyzed to varying degrees in water.
  • Burning: Sulfide is converted into the corresponding oxide, and sulfur is converted into sulfur dioxide.
  • Oxidation: The -2-valent sulfur in the sulfide has reducibility and can be oxidized into sulfur, sulfite, and sulfate depending on the conditions.
  • Sulfide acid-base: Sulfides are similar to the corresponding oxides, and their acid-base changes with cycle and group are also similar to those of oxides, but the alkalinity of sulfides is not as strong as that of oxides.

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Sulfide Rock Minerals Processing Plant

Sulfide Ore Flotation Process Layout

sulfide ore flotation process layout
sulfide ore flotation process layout

This setup is Sulfide Rock Minerals Processing plant, suitable for processing Sulfide rock Gold, Copper, Silver, Zinc, Lead, Fluorite ore, etc. Has a high recovery ratio for sulfide-type minerals. Usually can reach about 85-90% depending on material conditions.

Sulfide Ore Flotation Process Equipment

Mining Equipment

sulfide ore flotation process layout

Sulfide Ore Flotation Process Systems

The full sulfide rock minerals processing plant includes 4 systems.

1. Crushing System

Chute feeder is for feeding raw material to primary jaw crusher stably and evenly, can feed 0-300mm stones, if bigger size and capacity, can use grizzly vibration feeder. Then primary jaw crusher crushes the big rock to a smaller size, about 0-80mm. The output sends to a fine jaw crusher to crush again to below 25mm particles. But there still have some +25mm particles, so better send to vibration screen to sieving out 0-25mm go to ball mill grinding system. and +25mm go back to fine crushing again.

The feeding size of the ball mill can be smaller, the smaller, the better, grinding efficiency will much higher. So sometimes, will have 3 stages crushers in the crushing system to make a smaller feeding size for the ball mill (0-5mm or 0-8mm or 0-10mm).


2. Grinding System

The 0-25mm material will firstly go to a storage bin before feeding to the ball mill, so the crushing system can work separated from the grinding system as long as has stock enough 0-25mm in a storage bin. Then feed the 0-25mm material by swing feeder or electromagnetic vibration feeder to ball mill through belt conveyor. The ball mill is for grinding material to small fine powder because flotation process needs 200mesh material, need work together with a spiral classifier to reach 200mesh output from the overflow of classifier, the underflow coarse particles will go back to ball mill grind again, to be closed-circuit. So from this grinding system will get 200mesh slurry.


3. Flotation System

The 200mesh slurry will be firstly sent to mixing tank by slurry pump, to make sure material is mixed completely, then from mixing tank go to flotation machines, need to add different chemicals in flotation machine to separate out different minerals, the flotation process has the primary selection, secondary selection, and final selection, this is for increase minerals grade to maximum after the process. If need a higher grade, then need to flotation more times. Will get each mineral concentrate ore after flotation system.


4. Concentrate ore filtering system

After getting the minerals to concentrate ore from the flotation system, for the high-grade minerals, such as copper, Zinc, Lead, Fluorite, use the thickener to concentrate, make higher density, then send to disc vacuum filter machine to filter water, and get more dry concentrate minerals. Then can dry in the sun or by drying machine to get complete dry minerals to concentrate ore.


This Sulfide Rock Minerals Flotation processing plant is highly effective in recovering sulfide minerals, the plant design can be customized as per rock minerals conditions, capacity can be small, medium, and big as per request.

JXSC has been focusing on mining equipment manufacturing since 1985.

Products: Rock crushers, gravity separator, electrostatic separator, flotation machine, washing equipment, ore feeder, screen & sieve, etc.

Application: Metallurgical, mineral processing, sand making, aggregate processing, etc. Contact us for quotation

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