A review of the trends and state of art in automation and control of flotation columns is presented. Besides the large number of columns installed in concentrators world-wide, there are a number of unsolved problems related to lack of instrumentation, lack of process knowledge, odd operating practices, and in general, lack of management and data processing. Process control of local objectives is frequently achieved, however, application of mature and new techniques, are rather slowly included in control and information systems. In the near future, it is expected that intelligent techniques will be incorporated to solve a large variety of problems. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.