Process mineralogy encapsulates a number of mineralogy-related factors of an ore that strongly affect metallurgical performance:
- Modal mineralogy: How abundant are different mineral species in an ore-body?
- Stoichiometric mineral composition: What is the exact chemical make-up of minerals?
- Mineral associations and texture: Which minerals occur together and how intergrown are they?
- Degree of liberation/locking
- Particle size distribution of minerals
All of these factors are ore body-specific and they also vary from processing step to processing step in a plant. The insight provided into these factors makes automated mineralogical analysis by scanning electron microscope (SEM) an indispensable tool in the modern metallurgist’s arsenal.
The insight it provides into ore mineralogy and texture provides valuable pointers that allow a more targeted approach to metallurgical scoping studies and flowsheet development. In a similar fashion, for operating plants the data generated from process mineralogy is equally essential for optimisation of a flowsheet or during troubleshooting.
We are a great believer in the value of up-front process mineralogy investigations, and offer a range of process mineralogy services to help bring projects to a successful outcome: