Cao - Metallurgist - Edmonton, AB, Canada

Mingli Cao

Edmonton, AB, Canada



Work History


Barrick Gold Corporation's Technology Centre

(a) Au-Cu mineral flotation separation with a new pyrite depressant in Pascua Lama ores
 Performed selective pyrite depressant studies at natural pH to replace conventional technique at pH 11.
(b) Clay depression with a new technology in Turquoise Ridge gold ores
 Developed a technique of de-sliming using Hydrocyclone in conjunction with clay dispersant to maximize Au recovery (>85%) at a low concentrate mass pull of less than 20%.
(c) Talc depression with a new depressant in Buzwagi gold ores
 Investigated talc depression with polymers in Au-Cu ores, Mg recovery decreased to 3.5% from 32.5% of baseline, while Cu recovery kept unchanged at over 96%.
(d) Characterization of flotation response for different type of gold ores
 Examined flotation behaviour of difference type of gold ores including free milling gold ores, Au bearing oxidized sulphide ores and carbonaceous gold ores.
(e) Penalty elements (Arsenic and mercury) removal from gold ore with flotation technique
 Investigated a feasibility study to remove As and Hg minerals from Au ores using column flotation at the stage cleaner.
(f) Gravity recoverable gold (GRG) study
 Conducted a gravity separation study using Knelson to recover fine particle nugget Au.

Research Associate

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta

(a) Improving the flotation of partially oxidized sulfide ores (POX) at Minto Mine (NSERC Engage grants with Minto Explorations Ltd.)
(b) Hydrocyclone research on Clear Hills ironstone beneficiation (NSERC Engage grants with Ironstone Resources Ltd.)
(c) Froth phase study in mechanical flotation (NSERC CRD project with Tech Cominco Metals Ltd.)
 Investigated coal froth recovery-air recovery relationship, and quartz entrainment-water recovery relationship with and without polymer depressants.
 Determined the correlation of all four response parameters (i.e. froth recovery, air recovery, entrainment rate and water recovery) for the mixtures of coal and quartz.
 Investigated the effect of wash water and polyethylene oxide (PEO) addition on quartz entrainment in a bottom-driven open-top bench mechanical flotation machine.

(d) Reverse S0 flotation from bio-oxidation residues, Jinfeng operation (Industrial project sponsored by Eldorado Gold Corporation)
(e) Metal recovery from oxidized Cu-Pb-Zn sulfide ores of SEMO, Doe Run (Industrial project sponsored by Doe Run Company)
 Developed a technique and process to improve the Pb, Zn and Cu recoveries from oxidized sulfide ores.

(f) Two-stage-aggregation flotation process for ultrafine particle separation (NSERC Discovery Grant)
 Studied the metal ions adsorption on chitosan in aqueous solution and application of chitosan as a selective depressant in sulfide minerals flotation systems (galena-chalcopyrite, galena-sphalerite and chalcopyrite-pyrite).


School of Resources & Environmental Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology

(a) New flotation technique and reagents for upgrading niobium minerals from Baotou ore, China (Sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and Baotou Iron & Steel Ltd.)
(b) Synthesis and characterization and application of Ezhou bentonite (Industry project sponsored by Hubei Zhongfei Bentonite Ltd., China)
 Enriched Ezhou bentonite using gravity separation techniques
 Synthesized organobentonite used as an anti-settling agent of painting.
 Characterized Ezhou bentonite using XRD, FTIR, SEM and thermo-gravimetric and differential thermal analyses (TG-DTA) techniques.
 Investigated the role of surfactants and polymers (flocculants) in clay mineral (kaolin and bentonite) dewatering.
 Instructed setup and operation of equipment in mineral processing plant.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta

(a) Bitumen and mineral separation from oilsands froth treatment tailings (NSERC CRD project with Syncrude)
 Investigated the effect of hydrolysable metal cations on the coagulation between hexadecane (model oil) and mineral particles (quartz, kaolinite, illite and montmorillonite).
 Developed a technique to inhibit quartz-bitumen coagulation by complexing agents such as citric acid, oxalic acid and EDTA.

(b) Reducing flotation entrainment of fine particle minerals by polymer (NSERC CRD project with COREM)
 Re-examined the functions of zinc sulfate as a selective depressant in differential sulfide flotation (chalcopyrite, galena and sphalerite) – the role of coagulation.
 Synthesized grafted polymer to use as selective flotation depressants and flocculants to reduce the flotation entrainment of fine particles minerals, such as polyacryamide (PAM) xanthate, starch xanthate and starch phosphate.
 Investigated the effect of polyethylene oxide (PEO) addition on quartz entrainment for mixture minerals of galena and quartz using conventional mechanical flotation machine.

(c) Preliminary reverse carbonate flotation from the Jeronimo gold ore (Industry project sponsored by Barrick Gold Corporation).



A Mineral Processing Metallurgist with experience spanning more than twenty NSERC CRD and industrial projects including planning, execution and report writing. Significant academic training and qualifications including Ph.D., Master and Bachelor degrees of mineral processing engineering. More than seven years of Canadian experience encompassing two years of work experience as a metallurgist at Barrick Gold Corporation’s Technology Centre and more than five years of research associate and postdoctoral fellow experience at the University of Alberta

Significant accomplishments include:

• Increased Zn recovery from 56.4% to 76.4% without affecting Pb and Cu recovery for oxidized Cu-Pb-Zn sulfide ores by adding of a new floatation reagent.
• Developed a flowsheet to maximize Au recovery to over 85% with a significant decrease of concentrate mass pull from 35.5% to 18.4%, resulting in a lower Capex/Opex.
• Utilized existing research on the effect of hydrolysable metal cations on the coagulation between oil and mineral particles (quartz, kaolinite, illite and montmorillonite) to develop a technique to inhibit the coagulation of quartz-bitumen by using complexing agents.

Qualifications & Certifications

Mineral Processing

Wuhan University of Technology

Mineral Processing

Wuhan University of Technology

Mineral Processing

Wuhan University of Technology

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