The Eriez® Flotation Division, a world leader in advanced flotation technology, installed its first FeedAirJet™ on a cleaner column at Capstone Gold’s Cozamin concentrator in Zacatecas Mexico in late 2016. 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’ famous 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 have confirmed this. According to Cozamin’s Plant Manager Rafael Regino, “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. Based on these results, another FeedAirJet has been approved this April for our zinc column.” The details of this successful demonstration were published in the Mexican mining magazine Enlace Minero in January 2017.
According to Eriez´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.”