On Thursday 31st January we co-hosted a Seminar with Olympus, Imdex and Petrolab to share and discuss innovation in “Understanding Your Mineral Deposit” through the broad geometallurgial approach. The seminar focused on mineral/waste characterisation to identify variability and allow the development of strategies to mitigate the associated risks.
The event was attended by over 65 delegates (despite the snow!) ranging from exploration companies, major mining companies, OEM’s, consultancies to universities.
Dr Simon Dominy, Visiting Associate Professor, Camborne School of Mines, opened with his keynote ‘Geometallurgy – A route to unlocking deposit value‘ which set the scene for the afternoon session. Simon reminded the room of the current challenges being faced by the mining industry from lower ore grades, more complex deposits, mine waste management, higher costs, processing challenges to commodity market volatility. Simon went on to present the Geomet approach which allows exploration and investment companies to reduce project risk and maximise NPV.
Geomet: “An interdisciplinary activity that integrates geological, mining, geotechnical and minerals process engineering, mineral economics and geoenvironmental parameters to maximise project value (NPV), reduce risk and build resilience through the creation of spatially predictive 3D models”
Simon was quick to point out that Gemotellurgy is not simply doing a bit of mineralogy, a bit of geochemistry or a few more met composites but Geomet is about integrating various technical disciplines across the mine value chain to reduce project risk and increase project value. The different technical disciplines must work together as a team and share data to achieve this. The paper which Simon’s presentation was based on can be downloaded here.
The presentations that followed Simon’s (listed below) went on to explore how new technologies and innovation are supporting the Geomet approach and early stage exploration.
Particular highlights included a complete end-to-end solution for in-field sample preparation and analysis from Imdex enabling exploration companies to make decisions on where to drill next with the data and knowledge from the previous drill hole to hand. James Parker from Olympus presented a number of case studies from clients using their portable XRF in a number of exploration applications. James Strongman from Petrolab presented new work in the field of X-ray CT Correlation with Automated Quantitative Mineralogy taking 2D chemistry to 3D CT extrapolation (ZEISS patent). Finally, Dr Klaas van der Wielen from GSL discussed the links between geology and metallurgy and the importance of integrating early stage metallurgical testing to build more of an understanding of what may be economically and technically feasible to extract. Integration of metallurgical testwork during exploration will help understand the host minerals, provide early insight into metallurgical performance and also indicate if any potential mineral processing challenges may be encountered.
- Near real-time geoscience during drilling and sampling Dr James Cleverley, Global Product Manager – Geosciences, Imdex
- Using portable XRF (pXRF) and portable XRD (pXRD) for rapid understanding of your mineral deposit James Parker, Olympus
- Understanding the mineralogy toolkit to maximise value from mineralogical investigations James Strongman, Director, Petrolab
- Opportunities for incorporating metallurgical investigations in early stage exploration Dr Klaas van der Wielen, Senior Metallurgist, GSL
The full agenda and original presentation abstracts can be downloaded here.
Thank you to The Geological Society of London at Burlington House for hosting the event and to Liv Carroll and Lucille Ablett for organising another fantastic London Mining Sundowner event which was an honour to sponsor and great to see such an incredible turnout.
We believe that companies that embrace the geometallurgical approach from an early exploration stage through to feasibility will benefit from increased NPV and shareholder value.
Look out for the next Understanding Your Mineral Deposit event and if you have any questions or feedback regarding this event please get in touch.