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The challenge

Measuring concentrations of valuable minerals and elements on a real-time basis at all stages of processing

©  jordache

Faced with global competition and increasingly lower grade ores, minerals and mining operations are looking for ways to improve efficiencies and productivity. Often small process improvements can result in substantial productivity gains for mineral processing operations.

In order to effectively improve plant performance, operators need accurate data on key elemental, mineralogical and physical information on ores at all stages of processing.

This information needs to be provided on a time scale suitable for process control to act on the data provided.

New digitally-enabled measurement tools to aid decision-making will make processing lower grade deposits more efficient and economically viable, while ensuring valuable concentrations of metals are recovered and prevented from going to waste.

Our response

A suite of analysers, each with their own advantages for different processing stages

We're developing new sensor-based analysers that can measure mineral concentration levels, as well as other characteristics such as mineral phases (mineral species), at different processing stages and each with their own advantages.

We employ a range of advanced sensor techniques, including x-ray fluorescence, x-ray diffraction and magnetic resonance.

Measuring gold and other precious metals

  • PhotonAssay - a fast alternative to traditional fire assays that measures gold grade in coarse samples without chemicals in two steps. Commercialised by Chrysos.
  • OnLine Gold Analyser (OLGA) - measures ultra-low levels (down to tailings grade) of gold and precious metals on-line, in real time. Commercialised by Gekko Systems.

Analysers for a range of other metals

We've developed the first analysers successful at measuring the concentration of mineral phase (mineral species) in processing circuits such as flotation. The technologies open up an opportunity to develop a range of new process optimisation strategies.

  • Magnetic resonance analysers provide a selective and direct measurement of a wide range of copper, arsenic and iron bearing mineral phases. The technique is capable of measuring feed and tailings grades. 
  • X-ray diffraction analysers can measure a wide range of minerals with sufficient sensitivity to track concentrations of about one per cent and higher. Economically valuable minerals and gangue phases can be tracked across the circuit.

Slurry analysers

  • X-ray fluorescence analysers that can be mounted on a slurry pipeline. This technology is called VRT-X.

We are partnering with the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector to bring these technologies to the global mineral processing industry.

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