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How does flotation affect mining industry?

How does flotation affect mining industry?
Update Time:2017-05-23

Flotation is an innovative processing method for separating valuable minerals locked in waste rock. It abandons basic principles of ore treatment by gravity methods previously followed by early metallurgists.At the end of the nineteenth century, the world had almost exhausted its supply of high-grade ore. Mining engineers and inventors worked to create a concentration method to treat the world's abundant supply of low-grade and complex ores, which were often difficult to extract profitably from waste rock.In 1905, the world's first commercially successful flotation mill was established at Broken Hill, Australia.Soon, experimental plants in Australia, Great Britain,and the United States also spread the news of their success with flotation. Almost overnight, the mining industry shifted from exploiting diminishing high-grade ores to an abundant supply of low-gradeore. Without the development of the flotation process,metals (such as copper, lead, and zinc) would have become increasingly costly and difficult to produce causing a direct impact on the global economy


Industrialization and flotation propelled the mining industry into a new age. While earlier concentration methods, such as gravity followed by cyanidation,were effective in processing gold ore, flotation opened the minera ls market. Metal production was increased to twenty-four metallic and nineteen nonmetallic minerals by the mid-twentieth century. Flotation can be used in processing metallic orcs (e.g.,copper, lead, zinc, gold, silver) or non-metallic ores(e.g., clay, phosphate, coal). Flotation is the most widely used process in the world for extracting minerals. The process also recovers several metals from a single ore body into two or more concentrated products.The development of flotation solved an industry dilemma and allowed increased minerals production to meet twentieth-century industrial and manufacturing demands. Modern engineers and inventor sassert that the evolution of the flotation process for the recovery of meta ls was the most important technological development of the century