The xanthate adsorption mechanism on pyrite was investigated with an emphasis on solubility studies. Additionally, adsorption studies, Eh and infrared spectrophotometer measurements were performed. Pyrite floats at pH levels between 3 and 6 using ethyl and amyl xanthates with a maximum at pH 4. The solubility of pyrite in the absence and presence of xanthate was investigated in detail with respect to pH and conditioning time. Experimental results showed that the solubility of pyrite increases from 60 to 120 ppm (10(-3) to 2 X 10(-3)mol/L) in the presence of xanthate at pH 3. Fourier transform infrared(FTIR) spectra of ferric xanthate, dixanthogen and pyrite conditioned with xanthate indicated that dixanthogen is the only species that can be determined on the pyrite surface. Adsorption tests showed that the highest level of xanthate adsorption was in the acidic range; yet higher adsorption densities were detected in neutral solutions compared to alkaline conditions. Electrochemical data suggest that the doubling of the iron concentration is due to the reduction of ferric ion to ferrous by xanthate while xanthate is oxidized to dixanthogen. Dixanthogen formation together with the hydrophobic iron hydroxy-xanthate complex on the surface is proposed to be responsible for pyrite flotation.