Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 957–966 | Cite as

A Micro-Scale Investigation of the Adsorption of Collectors on Bastnaesite

  • Jinhong ZhangEmail author
  • Dongbo An
  • James Withers


A micro-scale investigation was carried out by applying atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study in situ the adsorption of various collectors, i.e., oleic acid, octanohydroxamic acid (HA), and salicylhydroxamic acid (SHA), on bastnaesite in aqueous solutions. The obtained AFM images show that the surface morphology of bastnaesite changes greatly after it comes into contact with the solutions of the collectors, suggesting that all these collectors can effectively adsorb onto bastnaesite. Increasing temperature can facilitate the adsorption of oleic acid onto bastnaesite. Results from attenuated total reflectance–Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (ATR-FTIR) also show that all of these collectors adsorb strongly onto bastnaesite, with strong absorbance spectra being detected. The ATR-FTIR results confirm those obtained by AFM. In general, hydroxamic acid collectors (HA and SHA) adsorb onto bastnaesite mainly in the form of insoluble metal hydroxamate. This specific adsorption mechanism explains that a high selectivity with a moderate collectivity will be achieved with a hydroxamic acid collector for the flotation of bastnaesite.


Bastnaesite Collector Hydroxamic acid AFM FTIR 



The financial support from a DoD Office of Navy Research grant with the contract number N00014-15-C-0165 for this study is greatly appreciated. J. Zhang is grateful to Freeport–McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc. for sponsoring the Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Chair in Mineral Processing in the MGE department at the University of Arizona.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. 2019
corrected publication August 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mining and Geological EngineeringThe University of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.ATS-MER, LLCTucsonUSA

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