Froth Flotation Beneficiation a Sure Way to Value Addition to Arufu (Nigeria) Zinc Ore Towards Smelting Grade Concentrate Production


  •   Oladunni Oyelola Alabi

  •   Olanrewaju Rotimi Bodede

  •   Taiwo Paul Popoola


Froth flotation of Arufu ore was carried out at varying particle sizes after characterization. Fifty (50) kilogram crude sample of the ore was sourced from Arufu zinc mine in Arufu town of Nassarawa state, Nigeria. The whole sample was crushed out of which five (5) kilogram was sampled out using random sampling method. One kilogram each of the resulting sample was then ground and sieved to three particle sizes viz; 63 µm, 90 µm and 125 µm. Chemical analysis of the representative sample of the sourced ore was carried out using Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (ED –XRF). 250 grams of the 63 µm sample was charged into Froth flotation cell mixed with water at a ratio of 1:4 to form slurry. The Slurry formed was condition to a pH of 9, while other froth flotation reagents were added one after the other. This resulted in froth and depressed samples, which were dewatered after 24 hours and samples picked for compositional analysis. The procedure was repeated for 90 µm and 125 µm. The characterization of head sample revealed that the ore contains predominantly 36.80%ZnO (26.29% Zn), 31.1 % SiO2 alongside other trace mineral as gangue in the ore. However, Froth flotation studies of the ore at varying particle size revealed that, appreciable amount of mineral of interest (ZnO) was lost to the tailing at sieve sizes 63 µm and 90 µm. This was attributed to over-grinding above the ore’s liberation size phenomenon which has been proven to have adverse effect on the mineral’s quality and overall separation efficiency. It was concluded that the froth flotation is best carried out at a particle size of 125 µm, pH of 9, using potassium ethyl xanthate (PEX) as frother to yield concentrate grade of 50.21 % ZnO (35.93 % Zn) at a recovery of 46.3%. This was re – cleaned to yield high grade of 82.36%ZnO (66.42%Zn). The re – cleaned concentrate produced falls within the standard requirement of 65 % Zn needed as a charge into the blast furnace for Zinc metal production.

Keywords: Froth Flotation, Concentration, Smelting, Grade


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How to Cite
Alabi, O., Bodede, O. and Popoola, T. 2020. Froth Flotation Beneficiation a Sure Way to Value Addition to Arufu (Nigeria) Zinc Ore Towards Smelting Grade Concentrate Production. European Journal of Engineering and Technology Research. 5, 5 (May 2020), 622-625. DOI: