Speaker:  Dr Susana Brito e Abreu, Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre, Sustainable Minerals Institute

Abstract:  In mineral processing, the separation of valuable minerals from the waste (gangue) by froth flotation is dependent on the interaction between the valuable minerals and air bubbles. For mineral particles to successfully attach to air bubbles and be recovered, their surfaces need to be sufficiently hydrophobic (i.e. water-repellent). This property, in turn, is determined by the mineral surface chemistry of the particles which can be manipulated by the addition of flotation reagents (collectors, depressants, activators, etc.) and controlling pulp chemistry conditions. The surface chemistry can also be inadvertently altered during comminution (i.e. oxidation during grinding), by the process water quality (i.e. ion speciation and residual reagents), and interactions between different minerals (i.e. galvanic interactions). However, ascertaining the surface properties of mineral particles in complex mineral systems is challenging. With recent advances in surface analytical techniques, such as Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry, X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy, acquiring mineral-specific surface chemistry information within complex mineral mixtures is now possible. In this seminar, some examples of these capabilities and future directions to advance mineral characterisation will be shown.

Bio:  Susana Brito e Abreu has a background in Chemical Engineering and has completed her PhD in Minerals Engineering from The Wark, University of South Australia, where she specialised in the application of surface analysis in minerals research, in particular, Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry. She has a special interest in the complex interplay between ore mineralogy, mineral surface properties and process behaviour. Susana’s research is focused on understanding the chemistry drivers of flotation and devising solutions to improve separation efficiency (e.g. plant flotation performance). Susana is driving her research to advance the surface characterisation tools for mineral processing studies.


About JKMRC Friday Seminars 2023

Welcome to the 2023 Series of the JKMRC Friday Seminars.  The list of presentations will aim to cover a range of topics related to the minerals sector from decision making in exploration, new mineral processing technologies, social licence to operate and mine closure.

The JKMRC Friday Seminars will be presented often in person, at the Indooroopilly Mine Site Lecture Theatre, and also as webinar.  Registration for the webinar is required and can be made via the registration link in each seminar overview.

A large number of past webinars can be accessed on the SMI website: https://smi.uq.edu.au/webinars

Previous seminars have been uploaded to YouTube via the following link: https://www.youtube.com/user/smiuq

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Indooroopilly Mine Site
40 Isles Road
Indooroopilly, Queensland
Lecture Theatre