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To study the reason for the poor recovery of galena when treating finely divided complex sulphides, research has been performed to obtain a better understanding of the surface properties of finely ground galena (15 mum) and of the collection of galena by potassium amylxanthate (KAX). Surface properties were studied before and after conditioning at pH 4, 8 and 11 and before and after flotation in the Hallimond tube. The Raman microprobe, infrared spectrometry and Fourier transform infrared spectrometry were used for this purpose. At the same time, the aqueous solutions were studied, particularly by ultraviolet spectrometry. The results show: (1) the evolution of the composition of the surface phases with pH, namely lead sulphate and carbonate at acid pH, basic lead carbonate mainly at alkaline pH; (2) the presence of lead xanthate in multilayers and, in certain cases, of dixanthogen at collector concentrations exceeding 5 x 10 -3- mole/l; (3) the presence of a Pb-AX surface complex at concentrations close to 10**-3mole/l. Flotation of fines at alkaline pH seems to be activated by the presence of basic lead carbonate on the surface.

Additional information

Bibliographic Reference: EUR 10169 EN-FR (1984) MF, 132 P., BFR 300, BLOW-UP COPY BFR 660, EUROFFICE, LUXEMBOURG, POB 1003
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