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Differences and Applications of Magnetic Separation and Froth Flotation

Author : Jordan | Last Updated :

Magnetic separation and froth flotation are common beneficiation equipment in the ore dressing process, mainly used to beneficiate the required ore.

What is the difference in working methods between magnetic separation and froth flotation?

The magnetic separator is the key beneficiation equipment for separating magnetic minerals from non-magnetic minerals or minerals with magnetic differences. The process is based on the different components in the separated materials, which means that in the working magnetic field, the different magnetic field forces and other forces received by different particles are used to separate different materials.

animations of magnetic separator and flotation separator

How do magnetic saparator and flotation separator work?

Froth flotation machine is generally used for the concentration of sulphide ores. The principle behind froth flotation process is that sulphide ores are preferentially wetted by pine oil whereas gangue articles are wetted by water.

In this process, the suspension of a powdered ore is made with water. Collectors like pine oil, fatty acids and xanthate are added to it. Froth stabilizers like wrestles and any line stabilized the froth. The mineral particles become wet by oils while gangue particles by water.

A rotating paddle agitates the mixture and draws air in it, as a result, froth is formed which carries the mineral particles. The froth is light and skimmed off, and it is then dried for the recovery of the old particles.

What kind of minerals can be processed by magnetic separator?

In order to realize the separation of different minerals through magnetic separation, it is necessary to ensure that there is a relatively obvious difference in force between different magnetic materials, especially the difference in magnetic field force.

Minerals in nature, due to their different atomic structures, exhibit different magnetic properties under the action of a magnetic field, and different minerals exhibit large magnetic differences.

magnetic separator

magnetic separator manufactured by Fote Company


Minerals are divided into non-magnetic minerals, weak magnetic minerals and strong magnetic minerals. Among them, strong magnetic minerals are the least. There are dozens of weak magnetic minerals, while non-magnetic minerals are numerous in variety.

Of course, the strength of magnetism between minerals is relative, and it is relative to the strength of the external magnetic field. With the development of magnetic separation technology and magnetic material technology, its definition has always changed.

The most common used magnetic separators are high-gradient magnetic separation (HGMS), high-intensity magnetic separation (HIMS) and low-intensity magnetic separation (LIMS), etc.

What kind of minerals can be processed by magnetic separator?

flotation separator

Flotation separators for sale

The flotation machine is mainly used to sort non-ferrous metals such as copper, zinc, lead, nickel, gold, etc., and ferrous metals and non-metals.

The classification of flotation machine mainly includes SF type flotation machine, GF type flotation machine, BS-K type flotation machine, XJK series flotation machine.

Common ores processing with magnetic separation equipment

Magnetic separation process of manganese oxide ore

manganese oxide ore beneficiation process

the whole processing line of manganese oxide ore beneficiation

The manganese oxide ore process concludes ore washing-jigging-strong magnetic separation process.

After crushing to less than 70 mm, the ore need to be washed, sieved and classified, firstly got material with + 30 mm needs manual beneficiation, then 4.5-30 mm ore is dressed by jig, and last ore with -4.5 mm should be processed by roller-type strong magnetic field magnetic separator.

After the process, you can get the selected grade of strong magnet 35.68%, the grade of concentrate 41.23%, and the recovery rate 93.6%.

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Magnetic separation process of wolframite

Wolframite is a weakly magnetic mineral and can be separated by magnetic separation.

Wolfram ore coarse concentrate magnetic separation process: before separation, the material is crushed to-3 mm by roll crushers, then they are screened into three levels which are 0.83 ~ 3 mm, 0.2 ~ 0.83 mm and 0 ~ 0.2 mm, and finally you can get wolframite concentrate by magnetic classification beneficiation.

Common ores processing in froth flotation equipment

Graphite ore flotation treatment

Crystalline graphite has good natural floatability, so froth flotation would be best for processing it. Since the size of graphite flakes is one of its most important quality indicators, a multi-stage grinding and multi-beneficiation process is adopted to remove large flake graphite as soon as possible.

Graphite product classification

Name High purity graphite High Carbon Graphite Medium-carbon graphite Low-carbon graphite
Fixed carbon(C)/% C≥99.9 94.0≤C <99.9 80.0 50.0≤C<80.0
Code name LC LG LZ LD

Graphite ore flotation process

Types of Graphite Mineral composition Undressed ore taste Flotation reagents Froth flotation characteristics
Flake graphite Graphite, plagioclase, tremolite, diopside, quartz, mica, chlorite, pyrite, calcite 2.13-15 Collectors: kerosene, diesel, sulfonate, sulfate, phenolic, carboxylic acid, etc. foaming agent: epihydrin alcohol, butoxy ethanol, modifier: Lime, sodium carbonate inhibitor: lime, sodium silicate The coarse concentrate is re-grinded and re-beneficiated many times (3 to 4 re-grinding, 4 to 6-time ore dressing), and the purpose is to protect and recover the large flake graphite as much as possible.
Amorphous graphite Graphite, clay 60-90 Collectors: kerosene, organicsulfonate, sulphate, etc. foaming agent: ether alcohol, pine oil modifier: lime, sodium silicate, sodium fluorosilicate Both concentrate and tailings are products

Copper ore flotation process

Copper is the main valuable recyclable element in ore, and its content is 0.77%. Copper ore contains lightly oxidized sulfide ore, and the copper in the ore is mainly in copper sulfide minerals. For copper ore, there is 0.45% of primary copper sulfide, accounting for 60.57% of the total copper; secondary copper sulfide 0.27%, accounting for the total copper 36.34%; free copper oxide and combined copper content is relatively less.

The recoverable copper in the ore is mainly stored in chalcopyrite, chalcocite and a small amount of copper-bearing sulfide minerals such as copper blue and azurite, with a copper content of about 1.72%.

copper ore beneficiation

copper ore dressing plant

Generally speaking, modern copper ore beneficiation technology includes flotation, microbial leaching, segregation and beneficiation and so on.

A single sulfide ore is mostly processed by forth flotation, and the whole process includes crushing, grinding, classification, and forth flotation.

Under the appropriate grinding fineness and agent system, from the raw ore with a Cu content of 0.77%, a concentrate with a Cu grade of 23.86% can be obtained, and the recovery rate is 95.24%.

Where to buy high-quality mineral processing equipment?

Fote Company

Fote Company is a manufacturer of a variety of mineral processing equipment, with 40 years of research and development experience and is committed to producing the most advanced mineral processing equipment.

Fote Magnetic Separator has various models which can maximize the recycling of precious metal minerals and help customers improve the company's economic benefits.

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Author : Jordan Jordan is the writer of the blog with a broad knowledge of this industry. Most importantly, he hopes to help you in your projects sincerely.

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