Multivariate image analysis of realgar–orpiment flotation froths
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Multivariate image analysis was used to estimate the arsenic concentrations in froths resulting from the flotation of different mixtures of realgar and orpiment particles in a laboratory batch flotation cell. The realgar floated rapidly and in excess of 90% of the mineral could be recovered after 2 minutes, whereas only 48–75% of the orpiment could be recovered in the same time. Textural features, based on grey level co-occurrence matrices (GLCMs), local binary patterns (LBPs), steearable pyramids and textons were used in the analysis. Random forest models could explain approximately 71–77% of the variance in the arsenic using either of the texton, steerable pyramid or LBP features. This was considerably better than what could be obtained with the GLCM features. Monitoring of froth flotation cells was simulated with the batch data. The texton textural features were the most discriminatory with regard to detecting changes in the arsenic content of the froth.
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