Effects of grinding media on grinding products and flotation performance of sulfide ores

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Department of Chemical Engineering


A smart selection of grinding media not only effectively reduces the grinding cost but also optimizes the flotation response of valuable sulfide minerals. This review highlights the influences of grinding media on pulp chemical properties (dissolved oxygen, pulp potential, pH, and ion concentration), particle size distribution, surface morphology and species, and crystal structure of grinding products, as well as flotation performance of sulfide ores. In addition, the effects of electrochemical and mechano-chemical interactions between grinding media and sulfide ores are discussed in detail. Furthermore, a representative industrial application case on the replacement of grinding media is presented. Grinding products produced by grinding media that are less electrochemically active have higher pulp dissolved oxygen, higher pulp potentials, and smoother surfaces with fewer iron hydroxide species, which is beneficial to the oxidation and adsorption of xanthate on the surfaces of sulfide ores, thereby improving flotation performance. Ceramic balls and pebbles are recognized as the most promising grinding media for sulfide ores. This review aims to provide guidance for enhancing the recovery of valuable sulfide minerals based on selecting the appropriate grinding media.

Publication Title

Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review