The Application of a Nitrile-based Collector in the Flotation of a Platreef PGM Ore

Jestos Taguta, Victor Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Declining ore grades, coupled with the increasing mineralogical complexity of ores, have forced the platinum group mineral (PGM) industry to search for collectors that outperform the conventional options. One such potential alternative is Nouryon’s Tecflote™ family of nitrile-based collectors for sulfide flotation; whilst notable success has been reported in the copper industry, the potential value of these in the PGM industry has not yet been evaluated. This study employed batch rougher flotation tests coupled with mineralogical analysis of tailings samples to investigate the application of Tecflote S11 as a partial or complete replacement of thiol collectors in the flotation of a PGM bearing Platreef ore. Tecflote S11 as sole collector and in combination with different thiol collectors were investigated. At low dosages of 80 g/t, the Tecflote and PAX as single collectors achieved similar 3E (Pt, Pd and Au), Ni, and Fe recoveries, with Tecflote proving to be the more powerful Cu collector. At higher dosages of 160 g/t, PAX outperformed Tecflote in terms of 3E, Cu, Ni and Fe recoveries. A 50:50 mass% combination of the Tecflote with either DTP, DTC or PAX showed improved recoveries without a loss in 3E grade. The Tecflote-PAX combination achieved the highest 3E, Cu and Ni recoveries. Under these conditions, fully liberated PGMs and those associated with liberated base metal sulfides (BMS) were recovered. Overall, the study demonstrated that the Tecflote requires the backing of a strong thiol-based collector to achieve an improved flotation response for the Platreef ore.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)716-719
Number of pages4
JournalMineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to acknowledge the financial and technical support of Mintek and approval to publish the results. The assistance of Nouryon in providing samples of Tecflote S11 is also gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • base metal sulfide
  • Froth flotation
  • platinum group minerals
  • Tecflote™ collector
  • thiol collectors


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