During froth flotation, fine gangue particles are difficult to reject as they are easily entrained, leading to a poor quality of concentrates, especially in saline water. In this study, the focus was on the selective reduction of kaolinite entrainment using anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) MF1011 during chalcopyrite flotation in saline water. Attenuated Total Reflectance-Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy was employed to understand the adsorption of MF1011 and potassium amyl xanthate (PAX) on mineral surfaces while Focused Beam Reflectance Measurement (FBRM) was used to monitor in-situ particles aggregation and subsequent size fluctuations during agitated flotation. It was found that the adsorption of MF1011 was strong on kaolinite but weak on chalcopyrite. Meanwhile, MF1011 potentially targeted kaolinite rather than chalcopyrite during the particles aggregation and size changes. The selective adsorption and aggregation of MF1011 in the kaolinite-chalcopyrite mineral system were attributed to the selective reduction of kaolinite entrainment by MF1011 during chalcopyrite flotation.

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