is a common technique used to improve flotation recovery of ultrafine ores. In this study, we used coarse polystyrene as the carrier material to enhance flotation recovery of fine smithsonite (ZnCO
) particles. Sodium oleate was used as the collector and played a role in the adhesion of fine smithsonite to polystyrene due to its amphipathic properties. The carrier feature of polystyrene was demonstrated using particle size analysis, total organic carbon, and scanning electron microscopy. The fine smithsonite particles coated the polystyrene particles through a reaction between the active zinc sites and the carboxyl head groups of the oleate adsorbed on smithsonite and through a hydrophobic interaction between polystyrene and the hydrocarbon chains of the oleate. Newly enlarged particle aggregates with smithsonite shells enhanced collision and attachment of the hydrophobized aggregates with bubbles, which accelerated smithsonite flotation recovery.