Canadian Mining Journal


MINERAL PROCESSING: Bingham Canyon mine tests Eriez HydroFloat

UTAH – Rio Tinto Kennecott Copper (RTKC) and Eriez are jointly operating pilot plant facility to increase recovery of base metals using the patented HydroFloat technology from Eriez Flotation Division (EFD). Results indicate significant opportunities for additional recovery of copper and molybdenum from Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon mine 45 km southwest of Salt Lake City.

HydroFloat is an aerated, fluidized bed separator.

EFD and the RTKC Innovation and Development Group are investigating the applicability of the HydroFloat technology to ore containing copper and molybdenum that are not recovered conventionally at the RTKC Copperton concentrator. The HydroFloat technology has been successfully used at commercial scale in the phosphate and potash industries for over a decade.

A study of the pilot facility supports the case that the HydroFloat is recovering up to 70% of coarse copper and up to 90% of coarse moly that is not collected by conventional flotation. Before testing the HydroFloat, RTKC was losing 10% of copper and 16% of moly to waste.

The HydroFloat separator is an aerated fluidized-bed (or teeter-bed) separator. The synergistic effect of combining flotation with gravity concentration results in an outcome that cannot be achieved by either approach alone, according to Eriez.

The use of a dense phase, fluidized bed eliminates axial mixing, increases coarse particle residence time and improves flotation rate through enhanced bubble-particle interactions. As a result, the recovery rate is high for fully liberated and semi-liberated particles

For more information, visit Eriez Flotation Division at or call toll-free at 888-300-3743 from the United States and Canada. Or send an email to

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