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Outotec Flotation technologies

Outotec is the world leader in flotation technology. We

set new standards for superior flotation performance:


mixing, aeration and froth recovery for every

Case-proven metallurgical superiority

flotation task. Our solutions are tailor-made for each

Minimized capital expenditure through

customer, including flotation packages with support

services, modular process sections and even whole

Minimized operational cost through

concentrators for base and precious metals and

efficient hydro-dynamics, robust designs

industrial minerals.

and advanced materials

optimum cell size and minimal footprint

High availabily throught easy and safe


002 Outotec Flotation technologies

Flotation technologies for maximizing

metallurgical performance and availability
Time-proven, innovative and efficient solutions

Our Flotation concept:

Our Flotation offering is based in the earlier mining

Performance driven tailoring

and concentrator operations of the Outokumpu

Flexibility in operation

corporation. Development of in-house flotation cells

Responsive controls

started in the 1960's to satisfy the need for more

High availability
Easy and safe maintenance

efficient, more reliable and easy-to-use equipment.

This development has led to many innovative products
and processes. For decades, we used to call these

Commitment throughout the life span of

flotation technologies with the well-known brand

name OK.

the operation

Outotec continues to offer you the same competitive

advantage with flotation technology that has evolved
through decades of continuous R&D and experience.
Forty years in business prove our commitment to
customers as well as the operational reliability and
performance of our equipment.
Our automation and analyzer solutions offer operators
the perfect tools to enhance flotation performance.
In addition, our froth management technology and
particle-size-specific flotation lead the field for
optimizing recovery in every application. We are ready
to serve you at any time in whichever corner of the
world you operate.

Outotec Flotation technologies 003

Flotation cell to match your application

Flotation is a technology with over 100 years of
history, yet now the development in our offerings
is more rapid than ever. To yield maximum profits
in applications with various particle sizes, we have
specialized designs for each in the flotation cell. The
heart of the cell is the mechanism which creates the
bubble-particle interactions, and equally important
critetrion is efficient froth recovery.
New Outotec FloatForce mechanisms

Optimum aeration at any altitude

To replace and excel on the proven OK-mechanism in

The forced air flotation principle ensures optimum

MultiMix and FreeFlow configurations, a whole family

of new FloatForce mechanisms has been launched.
The FloatForce mechanism maximizes bubble and
particle contact in the shear zone between the rotor
and stator. The strong shear forces produce sufficient
energy for fines to break through the water film
energy barrier on the air bubbles.
To complement metallurgical performance, the
FloatForce is also more energy-efficient than anything
before. The mechanism keeps the slurry in motion
without excessive turbulence. Coarse particle contact
with air bubbles is maintained by strong and gentle
mixing to permit maximum recovery by minimizing
bubble-particle detachment.
This new FloatForce mechanism is not only
available in new Outotec flotation deliveries, but also
for existing installed OK, SkimAir and TankCell
equipment to replace MultiMix and FreeFlow

aeration at any operating altitude. Our blower systems

are always designed to the specific site conditions.
Easy start-up under full load
The unique, downward-tapering rotor enables fast
start-up under load after a scheduled or unscheduled
Froth management leads to high recovery with
optimal grade
Another flotation challenge is to keep the froth in
constant motion to ensure high recovery or to make
maximum concentrate grade. Our flotation units
feature patented froth crowders to flexibly manipulate
the froth and keep it in continuous motion.
Special launder designs
High-capacity internal launders, double launders
or flexible high capacity radial launders recover the
concentrate quickly, thereby reducing drop-back,
especially of the coarsest particles.

Successful site tests and TankCell installations have proven that the cells are easy to operate. Control
tools, especially the air control, are very good and the metallurgy is excellent. Operating and maintenance
costs are also low. Heavy-duty manufacturing of all flotation units and top-quality components are highly

Assistance and services used most often include training of operators and maintenance staff,

proposals for inspections and preventive maintenance activities as well as spare parts recommendations.
We also make suggestions for process improvements. Our customers appreciate that we work as partners
with them and give them the service they need. We know the process and can really assist them.

004 Outotec Flotation technologies

Outotec TankCell flotation units

superior performance
TankCell units as unit reactors meet all the requirements set for superior flotation performance.
They are easy to operate, low on power and air consumption and allow for a flexible layout. Further,
the TankCell family comprises the widest size range on the market.

Maximum return on investment

We have a simple goal to maximize your return on

Over the lifetime of the Outotec flotation units,

investment. Our design philosophy is to provide you with

operating costs have proven time and again to be by

the best long-term investment. As operators, we under-

far the lowest. High reliability and low maintenance

stand the value of every 1% in throughput, grade and

enable trouble-free operation, contributing to a rapid


return on investment.
Our flotation units are built to last. Components
and electrical equipment are selected for maximum
operating life. For instance, our rotors and stators
have proven to be the most wear-resistant available.
The wide range of available cell sizes permits plant
design to be compact, economical and efficient, without
fear of short circuiting, even for todays high-tonnage
operations. Fewer units mean substantial savings in
construction costs, piping, cables, instrumentation and
auxiliary equipment.

Outotec Flotation technologies 005

Availability and Efficiency

With large cell size, the reliability of single equipment
becomes critical. Countless hours of fluid dynamics
analyses and mechanical engineering have allowed
us to build ever larger cells that with extremely high
Our flotation cells are designed and built with
availability being a key criterion. They tolarate
fluctuating feeds and even oversize material without
blocking up. Mechanical components are carefully
sized to minimize vibration and loading; wear parts
provide easy and safe maintenance.

Outotec TankCell eSeries

The cylindrical TankCell excels in performance as a
rougher, scavenger or cleaner and currently leads the
world in fl otation technology. We use our knowledge
of froth crowding and froth transport characteristics
to adapt the basic design to the demand of different
flotation duties.
The wide range of proven cell sizes from 5 m to
500 m and the symmetrical design allow a flexible
layout. Internal dart valves minimize the footprint

The new eDrive has beed built will all of the above
criteria. As a result, it combines ease of maintenance,

Superior mixing and minimized short circuiting

The cylindrical TankCell with the FloatForce
mechanism operates as an ideal mixer and maximizes
the number of collisions between the mineral
particles and air bubbles, as well as reducing short
Optimized aeration and froth recovery
TankCell units have an optimized froth surface area
based on the mineralogy and kinetics in each case.
They are designed to handle maximum carrying rates
and lip loadings for the specified task.

top-notch efficiency and compact design.

006 Outotec Flotation technologies

Outotec SkimAir flotation units

profit-makers in the grinding circuit
Outotec is known as a forerunner in bringing new technologies to the market. No one comes close when it comes to
understanding and utilizing particle dynamics and froth management. Our flotation approach focuses on flexibility
and circuit optimization. Our various types of flotation mechanisms have proved capable of handling all kinds of
flotation processes. Reliability and ease of use are the keys to our continued success.

Outotec Flash Flotation

In conventional Flash Flotation, we look for grade. The

Outotec SkimAir flotation unit is used as a standalone cell in a one-stage process for producing a
high-grade concentrate.
Outotec Flash Roughing
Outotec Flash Roughing is recovery-driven. SkimAir
operates using Dual Outlet Technology, which has
world-wide patent coverage, to produce a lower-grade
concentrate at a high recovery. Flash Roughing can
comprise two stages: the SkimAir unit is used as the
rougher, and a special TankCell is closely linked as the

Outotec Flotation technologies 007

Outotec Flash Roughing flowsheet.

Outotec SkimAir
Outotec Flash Flotation or Flash Roughing by the SkimAir flotation unit takes place in the grinding stage.
Main customer benefits of Outotec SkimAir:
Minimal overgrinding
The Outotec SkimAir unit floats the valuable

A lower-grade concentrate with high recovery can be

liberated particles from the circulating load of the

obtained and blended with the higher grade SkimAir

grinding process while still relatively coarse. These

concentrate to increase the overall plant recovery.

liberated particles are not ground further and do not

enter the main flotation process as slime particles

Increased mill throughput

with poor recovery.

Along with flotation improvements, the grinding mill
Improved overall recovery

throughput can be increased due to the controlled

high density of the SkimAir underflow.

SkimAir recovers considerable amounts of valuable

minerals, resulting in a more stable feed to the

Improved dewatering

conventional flotation circuit. This creates extra

capacity and improved control in the existing flotation

Dewatering improves because the final concentrate


P80 is coarser due to the elimination of fines.

Outotec is number one in Australia due to the development, successful testing and installation of large
TankCell units. The largest Flash Flotation SkimAir cells have also been developed and successfully
installed for the Australian market.

Our locally-based technical and engineering team, operating with ISO 9001 certification, can quickly

respond to customers and engineering companies. This applies to bid requests as well as solving on-site issues.
Our quotations have general arrangement drawings in electronic form for further processing as initial plant

008 Outotec Flotation technologies

All under control

Outotec offers the widest range of flotation solutions available to meet all application needs. Each flotation
unit can be delivered complete with a customized package of our automation or on-stream analyzers.
Outotec's range of flotation equipment
nn TankCell for rougher, scavenger and

cleaner flotation

nn SkimAir for conventional Flash Flotation or

Flash Roughing in the grinding circuit

nn Conventional flotation cells for rougher, scavenger

and cleaner flotation

Modular Process Sections

Sub-assembled process sections are cost-effective
and fast to bring into operation. These modules are
practical for transportation, and easy to assemble and
install in the fi eld; customized automation, sampling
arrangements and analyzers are included. Supervision
services and training complete the package.
Service across the globe
Our first class equipment is backed up by first class
people. We provide rapid service to help you achieve
high availability and optimized production rates. We have
highly-trained personnel dedicated to serve you on all
continents and geographical areas where mining and ore
beneficiation are taking place.

Outotec Flotation technologies 009

Outotec CellStation Operator Interface

We also offer a unique control solution for flotation
units the CellStation. As a stand-alone control panel
positioned on the deck of the flotation cell, it replaces
conventional field controllers and performs a variety of
additional functions. It can be linked to the Outotec family
of analyzers and any plant process control system.
The PLC based CellStation has easy to use graphical
touch screen display to follow control loop status, trends
and to adjust set points for flotation air and slurry levels.
EXACT level
Top safety

In real life, periodic and uncontrolled plant surges

Operational safety is one of the primary design criteria

and it also applies to the choice of components
All units carry the European CE mark. Reducing
environmental impact is always the starting point in
the design of all Outotec systems. Our equipment is
designed for the highest operational cleanliness.
Outotec FrothMaster Froth Image Analysis and

and large fluctuations in the flotation feed are not

uncommon. The EXACT level control solution is
designed to monitor upstream processes and feeds a
compensation signal to the cell level controller before
disturbances interfere flotation performance.
The EXACT level is based on feed forward control
principles and unique automatic tuning functionality. It is
conveniently embedded into the CellStation as a plugin, and requires no extra instrumentation.

The on-line Outotec FrothMaster froth image analysis

and advanced controls further enhance the operation
of the cells. Froth motion and bubble analysis coupled
with higher-level controls for air feed, froth depth
and reagents provide a unique way to optimize the
concentrate mass pull and grade.
The FrothMaster high quality live video feed and easy
readouts provide the operator an accurate feel of the
process continuously.

The CIS countries

Outotec has had long experience of modernizing existing plants in the CIS. The company has also delivered
complete new plants, comprising equipment for flotation, thickening and filtration as well as related automation
and analyzers. Years of experience in this market have facilitated timely deliveries and smooth co-operation.

Our designers and specialists all have plant metallurgical backgrounds from similar ore processes.

We have a long tradition in equipment manufacturing, which is complemented by easy railway transportation
from Finland to the CIS.

010 Outotec Flotation technologies

Proven to
be superior

Most efficient technology available

TankCell is known to have the fastest flotation kinetics
available; this has been proven by fullscale tests in
South America, Canada, Europe and Australia. In the
flotation kinetics case study depicted below, Outotec
TankCell was able to make the required gangue
reduction from the feed with 10 minutes' retention
time, which is much faster than competitors' 15 minutes'
retention time.

Market leader
Outotec is the technology and market leader. Our


commitment to clients and their needs, continuous


R&D and proven ability to commercialize novel


technologies and improvements have resulted in us

holding a majority share of the market.


The best, all the time

We have experience beyond others. Our client plant
audit services have contributed to optimized plant
Fraction size, microns

developed solutions for many specific flotation tasks,

Case study: superior size-by-size recovery of Outotec TankCell.

from base metals to oil sands separation.

In all of the independently organized comparative
studies between competing flotation technologies,
Outotec has always been reported to be superior in




terms of metallurgical performance.


The chart above illustrates the difference in recovery

between TankCell and competing technology in actual
plant operation. The size-by-size results show that in
some size fractions the increase in recovery was over
20 percentage units. Based on four cell comparative
test, the client decided to retrofit the competing
technology. The total plant recovery was improved
as a consequence, and the payback time for the


0 5 10 15
Case study: fast kinetics of Outotec TankCell.

improvement was very short.

We value the Outotec flotation units because they suit the specific purpose and have a metallurgically beneficial design, meeting or exceeding metallurgical expectations in terms of grade and recovery. Operation is
trouble-free. Compared with competitor units, the Outotec units operate at low power consumption.

As a company, our expertise in recommending the cells, cell sizes and cell placement is recognized,

along with our design and application competence. Similar application references, quality of after-sales
performance and on-site service are highly appreciated by our customers.

Target reduction below one

performances. From the 1970's onwards, Outotec has

Outotec Flotation technologies 011

Outotec services
improve your

Outotec's comprehensive technology transfer package

What is more, we can make it much easier for you to

can be completed with expert services and support. Our

fulfill current and future legislation, by ensuring that

customer service operates through a global network of

your plant and processes are running as efficiently as

local units that offers not only assistance meeting the

possible, and that maintenance is being carried out

customers' needs but also a commitment to providing

proactively. New Virtual Experience Training enhances

advanced customer support whenever needed.

users knowledge and skills to manage the dynamic

Our service experts provide punctual spare parts

logistics, maintenance and training, as well as

environment of operating a flotation circuit and the

entire concentrator plant.

assessment and consulting services that generate a

Total service package from Outotec:

competitive advantage for you.

Equipment services
nn Spare parts and spare parts management

We can tailor services efficiently to your specific needs,

nn Equipment inspections and maintenance

when considering the necessary operational and

nn Training

maintenance services already from the beginning of

the project. As your trusted service partner, Outotec
ensures an optimized operation for the entire lifetime
of your plant.
Equipment services
Obtaining all spare parts and maintenance from the
same organization as process and equipment design
ensures that your plant runs optimally. We make

Process support services

nn Process assessment
nn Process control analysis
Plant services
nn Plant assessments
nn Operation and maintenance support services
nn Upgrades and modernizations
nn Shutdown maintenance services

sure that you receive only the highest quality parts,

consumables and upgrades, that can be seamlessly
integrated into your plant.
Plant and process support services

Benefits of Outotec services

Critical original spare parts in stock
Process and equipment know-how

Outotec's advanced plant and process assessment,

Minimize downtime and unscheduled

ef-X Efficiency Explorer, indentifies the areas for


potential improvements, e.g. equipment, automation

Maximum operating performance

systems, metallurgical processes and complete plants.

Finland, November 2011.

Outotec develops and provides technology solutions for the sustainable use of Ear ths natural resources.
As the global leader in minerals and metals processing technology, Outotec has developed over decades
several breakthrough technologies. The company also offers innovative solutions for the chemical
industr y, industrial water treatment and the utilization of alternative energy sources. Outotec shares are
listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.

Copyright 2011 Outotec Oyj. All rights reserved.