The most frequently investigated salts in coal flotation are chlorides. However, seawater contains additional salts such as sulfates. In coal flotation, magnesium chlorides showed the best results in terms of higher yield and lower ash content compared to the other magnesium salts studied. Therefore, two magnesium salts were tested in this investigation, namely magnesium chloride and magnesium sulfate. The effect of the magnesium salts as well as the optimization of coal flotation were investigated by statistical design of experiments in terms of pulp density, particle size, conditioning time and different dosages of MgCl 2 and MgSO 4 . The flotation results obtained by statistical design show that the ash content was lowest at 8.2% when a mixture of 2 kg/t MgSO 4 and 2 kg/t MgCl 2 has been used, with pulp density 20%, particle size 400 lm and conditioning time 15 min. The particle size plays an important role in reducing the ash content when the conditioning time has been extended and pulp density has been reduced. The strong interaction between the salts hinders the reduction of the ash content to less than 8.2%.