The wettability and floatability of oxidized chalcocite, bornite, and chalcopyrite with the conditions of sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS) dosages and pHs were studied by contact angle measurements, and single and mixture mineral flotation tests. To evaluate the results of the flotation, the flotation kinetic model for copper sulfide minerals treated by NaHS was derived. In this study, we focused on the activation and depression by NaHS, a well-known activator and depressant of copper minerals. The flotation results showed that there can be a threshold NaHS dosage to activate the mineral surfaces, as evidenced by the depression of the minerals and reduction of recoveries at higher dosages of NaHS. Chalcocite recoveries increased with an increase of NaHS dosage. Bornite recoveries tended to be depressed with a smaller amount of NaHS as pH increased. The recoveries of chalcopyrite increased as pH increased at an optimum NaHS dosage. Moreover, the flotation kinetic model that includes the surface properties and the reaction rate constant between the copper sulfide minerals and NaHS was derived. The trends of the flotation rate constants and mass fractions with NaHS dosages and pHs could quantitatively well-explain the flotation results.
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