Axis House has had the opportunity to enhance and develop its range of copper flotation sulphide collectors in the Zambian mining industry, states Axis House sales manager Gareth Heynes.
The company’s TLQ2 sulphide collector – a specialised liquid collector used for copper flotation – is being used at one of the largest copper-producing mines in Zambia. Axis House has also developed bespoke sulphide collectors that have “meteorically” improved performance at other mine sites in the country.
“Axis House has played a significant role in the growth of the Zambian mining industry. With continuous support and development, our goal is to guide mines away from using dangerous products – such as xanthates – for flotation and, together with grade and recovery, improve the flotation process as a whole.”
He emphasises that, as copper metal is an end-product for the bulk of Axis House’s clients in Zambia, the company aims to assist clients from the copper processing stage to refining.
The highly selective TLQ2 and DLQ2 sulphide collectors are effective in copper and associated flotation, as well as our DGX series in gold, with a good record in Zambian mining, adds Heynes.
Both sulphide collectors ensure maximum rejection of any sulphide gangue associated with these types of ore. Compared with using xanthates, which is also commonly used for copper flotation, significantly lower dosages of the TLQ2 and DLQ2 sulphide collectors are required, and the materials are safer in terms of handling and storage, Heynes notes.
“Apart from competing with other reagent suppliers, we also aim to use our current selective collectors as benchmarks, and further improve on their selectivity and ability to improve grade and recovery.”
Further, Axis House has newly formulated sulphide collectors that are being tested at various clients’ sites in Zambia.
Heynes explains that, after being tested in-house, the collectors are being evaluated at clients’ sites, with the feedback being positive to date.
These collectors have been developed to improve pyrite rejection while maintaining or improving on the recovery of copper sulphides.
He comments that this has remained a focus for the company for the past two years, with Axis House now witnessing their successful introduction at plant scale.
Heynes highlights two particular applications currently being tested in the Zambian mining market.
The first application involves replacing the multiple collectors used within a circuit with a single specialised collector. This is currently at the final stages of testing before being introduced at plant scale.
The second application involves introducing collectors that are also efficient in recovering any associated gold with sulphide copper.
“Sulphide collectors are competitive products – there are multiple products on the market. Compared with our major competitors, we have still managed to develop collector formulations that show the required improvements, which our clients can notice at laboratory and plant scale.”
Heynes points out that Axis House works closely with clients’ technical teams, particularly in the final stages of on-site evaluation.
He also stresses the contribution of the company’s technical sales team, who identify and address customer-specific processing problems on site.
Projects on general metallurgical issues are also executed, which “helps with building the Axis House range”, Heynes states.
The company is also involved in oxide copper flotation projects. Axis House technology being introduced to the reagent market includes the hydroxamate-based oxide collectors, namely the AM series which have been shown to significantly improve the recovery of oxide copper.
“Most of these projects in Zambia are nearing completion, and we intend to successfully introduce the products later this year,” he concludes.