March 2019
Volume 71    Issue 3

Will in-place recovery ever replace the need for flotation?

Batterham, Robin J.; Robinson, Dave J.


Full-text paper:
Batterham, R.J. & Robinson, D.J. Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2019) 36: 189.

The most significant trend in flotation has been the ever-increasing scale of operations. There is, however, doubt that this ongoing trend is enough to maintain the economics against trends such as falling grades, increasing mining costs, pressure on water supply and demand, rising energy demands needed for mineral processing, and a focus on whole of life value and mine legacy issues. We comment on the ramifications of broader uptake of more sustainable mining for mineral processing methods and address the specific question of whether recent progress in in-place recovery will lead to a timely breakthrough. The answer proposed is that this is possible in the next 10 to 20 years, but in the meantime the focus is just as likely to be on removal of waste (beneficiation) much earlier in circuits. Either way, mineral processing and flotation as we know it will change significantly. 


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