Process Mineralogy Today

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iMin (mineral) – building operational mineralogy capability for minerals processing

160516_IMG_Kansanshi mill

The iMin(mineral) package was developed by Dr Will Goodall at MinAssist as a tool for minerals processing operations to effectively access routine mineralogical information generated on-site.  The tool has subsequently been developed through iMin Solutions to allow for more focused development and marketing.

 

 

The capability for mineralogical information to be available for key process streams within 24-48 hours of sample collection greatly improves the applicability of information for operational decision support and process optimisation.  The availability of this information has always been constrained by lack of suitably rugged technology for site based applications and difficulty in sustaining suitably qualified mineralogists at remote sites.

 

The iMin(mineral) tool addresses these key roadblocks through use of the Zeiss ruggedized MinSCAN automated mineralogy system and through a model of remote support, where experts are available to review data generated and provide detailed interpretation from a remote location.

 

The iMin(Mineral) package provides an accessible platform for mining and minerals processing operations to establish capability for routine mineralogical analysis on-site.  It utilises a model of upskilling site metallurgists in day-to-day operation of the mineralogy program and undertake basic template reporting, while remote subject matter experts routinely review data generated and undertake more advanced analysis and reporting functions.

 

The package is offered using the Zeiss MinSCAN ruggedized SEM based automated mineralogy system

 

The MinSCAN by Zeiss microscopy a ruggedised automated mineralogy system suitable for operational settings

The MinSCAN by Zeiss microscopy a ruggedised automated mineralogy system suitable for operational settings

 

The iMin(mineral) package is provided as an all-in equipment, service and data analysis program offered as a monthly fee to the operation.  This allows sites to run the operational mineralogy program as an operating cost, closely integrated with their day-to-day continuous improvement and optimisation programs.

 

iMin(Mineral) package provides opportunity for operations to build operational mineralogy capability on-site, immediate benefits include:

 

  • More efficient continuous improvement programs.
  • Better understanding of fundamental process drivers to improve productivity.
  • Information produced in iMin(Mineral) provides link to open advanced data analytics functions in minerals processing.
  • Whole of operation performance trending
  • Link to mine plan for fully predictive forecasting.
  • Robust reconciliation with mine plan
Process trends example

Process trends example

Key components

 

  • On-site mineralogy setup and service
  • Remote expert support
  • Continuous improvement and decision support for process optimisation
  • Training programs

Differentiating factors

 

iMin(mineral) has been focused on providing a solution that upskills site personnel and provides adequate remote expert support to drive genuine value from the mineralogical information generated.

 

  • Structured to allow site metallurgists to run program – no need for site based mineralogist
  • Focus on upskilling
  • Remote support for advanced mineralogical analysis and interpretation
  • Whole of circuit decision support and optimisation – not just focused on single unit operations
  • Focus on data integration

Applications

 

  • Whole of circuit continuous improvement and optimisation
  • Daily decision support
  • Integration of equipment databases.
  • Maintenance support
  • Geometallurgy

 

iMin (mineral) provides the core data for input into the iMin Workbench for mineralogical balancing and data analytics.  It opens a wide range of possibilities for better use of mineralogical information in operating mineral processing plants and gives us the tools to make better decisions.

 

The first step in establishing operational mineralogy capability on your site is to organise a no obligation site assessment with iMin Solutions.  This assessment will involve a site visit and workshop by our experts in which we will develop a strategy for implementation at your site.  In the evaluation our experts will also provide a review of opportunities at the site, meaning that even if you don’t proceed you can generate value from our expertise.

 

Sign up today for iMin Solutions to assess your operation.


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About the Author: Dr Will Goodall

Will is globally recognized as a leading expert in the use of scanning electron microscopy for mineralogical analysis and is founder of MinAssist Pty Ltd, a company providing consulting in the quantitative process mineralogy space.

Visit Dr Will Goodall's website.

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