The lead minerals in ores are mainly galena, cerussite, and lead alum. The lead sulfide is galena, while the main lead oxide is cerussite. The lead processing technology uses flotation.
There are lots kinds of lead minerals, which have flotation differences between each other. The key points in getting ideal technology index are the choice of effective inhibitors, pH regulators of slurry, and collectors.
Galena is the major lead sulfide. Galena in different place has differences in the types and amount of impurities and occurrence state. At the same time, the floatability has large differences because of the lack of lattice. For example, if there are silver, bismuth and copper in galena, its floatability is improved. If there are zinc, manganese and antimony, the floatability is weakened. The different impruties in galena cause the different effort of inhibitor.
Cerussite is the major lead oxide. Generally after the vulcanization of Na2S, the flotation is carried out with advanced xanthate as collector. The suitable pH of vulcanization is about 9.5. If the pH is over high because of the large usage of Na2S, the NaHS can be used as the vlucanizing agent. Cerussite can be easily floated by fatty acid. However, it is difficult to separate with gangue minerals. Cerussite can also be easily collected by sting collector.
Yunnan lead processing project has complex lead ore to deal with. The main lead minerals are galena and lead alum. It applies the flotation sulphide ore – desilting – flotation oxidation ore processing technology according to the characteristic of lead ores. The final recovery rate of lead concentrate is 74.58%.