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  • Annie Rankin

Nickel flotation for High Talc Ores

Updated: Apr 3, 2019

Flotation of low grade nickel sulfide ores into a concentrate suitable for smelting, and at acceptable nickel recovery, can be challenging. Alteration of the gangue minerals can mean talc is present in considerable quantities. 


Talc floats naturally and can be very difficult to depress without significant nickel losses. High talc bearing ores have often been considered untreatable.


Metallurgists often try to pre-float the talc, before recovering the nickel sulfides. This approach makes sense, but unfortunately it is rarely successful as nickel losses, this time to the talc concentrate, usually destroy the economics.


Here at Strategic Metallurgy we have a long history in nickel metallurgy including the flotation of difficult ores. Our approach to high talc ores has been to modify the chemistry of the system to enable effective depression of the talc with subsequent high recovery of nickel in the flotation. The graph below illustrates the type of response we have been able to achieve on problematic ores.


Please Contact Alex Madden to discuss your metallurgical needs directly on +61 426 006 380

Recovery response of a high talc nickel ore with and without SM’s methodology.



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