Installation of FeedAirJet Sparger Brings Better Metal Recovery

The CavTube sparger has been installed on more than 200 columns worldwide. A version
of the system operating at a Mexican hard rock mine has resulted in improved flotation
performance, according to the manufacturer.
Eriez Flotation Division recently reported on early results from installation of its first FeedAirJet on a cleaner column at Capstone Gold’s Cozamin concentrator in Zacatecas, Mexico. Nicknamed by the commissioning team as the “Cavitador,” the FeedAirJet is a simple system for pre-aerating flotation feed streams. It is based on a proprietary configuration of Eriez’s CavTube, a sparging system that has been installed on more than 200 columns worldwide.

The CavTube works by inducing hydrodynamic cavitation in the feed slurry, which nucleates fine bubbles selectively on hydrophobic surfaces of the ore. The FeedAirJet turbo-charges the flotation process by starting particle collection before entering the flotation vessel. Results obtained by Capstone reportedly confirmed this. Cozamin’s plant manager, Rafael Regino, said “The recovery of copper and silver were consistently increased an average of 0.8% and 3%, respectively, when the FeedAirJet was added. Another impressive result was that recovery increased in all measured size classes.” He added that, based on these results, another FeedAirJet had been approved in April for a zinc column.

According to Eriez’s representative Oscar Lopez, “The FeedAirJet is a low risk, low capital way to improve flotation performance, and can be readily installed in existing plants. Five other plants in Mexico are evaluating this technology by installing the ‘Cavitador’ to increase recovery and reduce the re-circulating load in the flotation cleaner stages. We believe this technology should also improve the performance of forced air and aspirated mechanical cells.”

As featured in Womp 2017 Vol 07 -