In this study, the effects of four fine minerals, which were fine diaspore (FDIA), kaolinite, illite, and pyrophyllite (D50 is about 4.55 μm, D80 is about 10.78 μm), on the pulp rheology of the diaspore and pyrite mixed ores (D50 is about 120.53 μm, D80 is about 187.36 μm) and the recovery of pyrite were investigated through flotation tests, pulp rheology measurements, and sedimentation tests. It was found that fine minerals could change the pulp rheology and affect the pyrite recovery. The apparent viscosity of the mixed ores slurry increased with the addition of FDIA, kaolinite, and illite and the pyrite recovery decreased in varying degrees. When the addition was 15 wt.%, the recovery of pyrite decreased from 92.3% to 60.8%, 81.4%, and 84.7%, respectively. The addition of pyrophyllite had a significant deteriorating effect on flotation. When the addition of pyrophyllite was 5 wt.%, the pyrite recovery was reduced to 49.2%, and when the addition was further increased to 15 wt.%, the pyrite recovery reduced to 28.5%. However, the effect of pyrophyllite addition on the pulp rheology of the mixed ore was not remarkable. Pyrophyllite affected pyrite recovery not only by affecting the rheological behavior of the pulp, but also because pyrophyllite was adsorbed on the surface of pyrite and diaspore, producing hetero-aggregation, which made it difficult for the pyrite particles to collide with the bubbles effectively. This was the main reason for the reduction of pyrite recovery. Generally, the order in which the reduction of pyrite recovery was affected by the additions of fine minerals was pyrophyllite > FDIA > kaolinite > illite.
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