Technical Note

Cyanide elimination from lead-zinc flotation

N. Magdalinovic1, M. Trumic1*, Z. Petkovic2, V. Rajic2

1 University of Belgrade, Technical Faculty, VJ 12, 19210 Bor, Yugoslavia
2 Metoha Technology, Vase Stajica 6, 21000 Novi Sad, Yugoslavia

Received 6 August 2002; accepted 15 April 2004


Application of cyanide in Lead-Zinc (Pb/Zn) flotation dates back from 1922 when Sheridan-Grisvold process was introduced using the cyanide as depressant for the sphalerite and pyrite. The cyanide was proven to be a very efficient depressant and it is still used extensively in flotation. There is a patent on a series of SKIK reagents, which have a double effect in the flotation process; as the grinding media corrosion inhibitors and as very selective collectors for base metals. A new “Metoha Technology” has been developed based on testing SKIK reagents with Pb/Zn ores. The “Metoha Technology” enables efficient flotation of Pb/Zn minerals without any addition of NaCN for sphalerite and iron sulphides depression. Detailed laboratory tests on the Pb/Zn ores from the “Sase” Mine in Srebrenica, Republic of Srpska using the SKIK-BZ2000 reagent, show that due to its introduction, the reagent regime was simplified and significantly cheaper. Upon its introduction in the process, NaCN, ZnSO4, PEX and PAX in the total quantity of 450g/t were completely eliminated and only 233g/t of the SKIK-BZ2000 reagent was used. The industrial testing at the “Sase” Concentrator have confirmed the laboratory results. In the same time, the grinding media consumption was reduced by 13%. Apart from obvious economic and technological benefits, the “Metoha Technology” has solved the environmental problem by elimination of the cyanide from the process. The precipitated cyanide in the tailing dams is source of the underground water pollution and immense hazard for the environment in the case of dam damage or collapse. The the SKIK reagents applied in the “Metoha Technology” are also less toxic than the conventional collectors such as xanthate, and ditiophosphate.

Keywords: Cyanide; Environmental; Flotation; Lead; Zinc

* Corresponding author
   E-mail : trumic@ptt.yu