2k Factorial Experiments on Factors that Influence the Recovery of Gold during the Upgrade of Ilesha-Itagunmodi Gold Ore through Froth Flotation


A low-grade gold ore from Ilesha-Itagunmodi, south western Nigeria was panned, dried and ball-milled before sieving into fractions. The morphological, mineralogical and chemical composition was studied by optical micro-scopy (Reflected and Transmission), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Energy Dispersive X-ray fluorescence (XRF), respectively. The sieved fractions were subjected to chemical analysis (AAS). The +106 μm sieve had the highest concentration of the mineral and was then selected for the upgrade through froth flotation using standard reagents. In this paper a report on a 2k factorial experiment that provides an understanding of the impact of operational variables on the quantity of gold mineral obtained from the ore during froth flotation is presented. Analysis results showed that Ilesha-Itagunmodi gold ore is non-refractory with fine grain particles, amenable to froth flotation and contained about 20 other associated minerals, gold had a concentration of about 0.0024%. A com-bination of P-Xanthate and amine glycol collectors at a pH of 9.2 only produced a considerable increase in gold yield. This translated to about 87.13% increase in recovery of gold from the ore. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was carried out and the model equation obtained was subsequently optimised to obtain a model equation that could be used in predicting the recoverable quantity of gold, indicating that F11,1-values for Collector concentration, Frother concentration, pH and Conditioning time were 156.86, 6.96, 43.81, and 56.77 respectively. A model with an F value of 88.41 was obtained which indicated that the model was significant. The model equation obtained was subsequently optimised to be able to predict the recoverable quantity of gold. A “Pred R-Squared” value of 0.9365 (93.65%) was also obtained and is in reasonable agreement with the “Adj R-Squared” value of 0.9534 (95.34%). It was established that Ilesha placer gold ore is amenable to froth flotation using standard reagents.

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Oluwabunmi, K. , Adeleke, A. , Adetunji, A. , Jeje, S. , Abioye, A. , Adesina, O. , Ayeni, F. and Ibitoye, F. (2014) 2k Factorial Experiments on Factors that Influence the Recovery of Gold during the Upgrade of Ilesha-Itagunmodi Gold Ore through Froth Flotation. Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering, 2, 32-39. doi: 10.4236/jmmce.2014.21006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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