For any new mineral beneficiation project, the initial approach to test work is based on information supplied from the Geological exploration program, Assays & Mineralogy.
|Steinert’s sensor sorting technology offers the possibility to increase the longevity of lower-grade resources|
The design metallurgist examines the mineral dressing options to achieve valuable mineral separation from the gangue-waste minerals based on the properties of minerals such as size, specific gravity, magnetic susceptibility, conductivity, colour, floatability and solubility. The association of the minerals in the ore is important to the process consideration in that intimate relationship, where the degree of dissemination determines the amount of reduction required by crushing and grinding to achieve liberation.
The key determination is the size of the valuable mineral or minerals liberated from the gangue-waste and from other minerals in the mineral suite. The minerals contained in the suite will need to be identified and quantified by a mineralogist.
In developing the process flowsheet, pre-concentration of the ore should always consider that the ore can have major advantages. The size of all down-stream processes can be reduced, or conversely the throughput increased, which could be particularly significant in terms of operating cost and product output. It can add previously uneconomic zones to reserves or help manage ore blending programs more effectively. By being applied to selective high-grading of low grade stockpiles and waste dumps, it can recover value from previously uneconomic waste, reduce environmental risks, costs, tailings dam sizes and milling energy requirements.
Additionally, pre-concentration of ore underground or at remote sites can reduce haulage and hoisting costs. Satellite ore bodies can be mined more effectively if scalping can be carried out in-pit.
Sensor sorting technology offers the possibility to increase the longevity of the lower-grade resources found in many operations, and realise the potential for profitable development of marginal resources.
STEINERT’s solutions range offers a variety of sensor sorting technology measuring some of the above-mentioned mineral characteristics at high speeds. The technology can merge the information from any combination of sensors and in doing so, gather more data about the particles than a single sensor can. For example, by combining an XRT sensor’s signal with that of a 3D laser scanner, particles can be separated from one another based on both density and the rate of refraction of light within a particular mineral.
Utilising the different sensors to identify and sort material, the STEINERT KSS uses sophisticated technology that can be “taught” to sort a range of items. These sensor-sorting systems are equipped with active valve control for a reduction in compressed air consumption versus standard air ejection systems. The required air blast pressure and number of controlled compressed-air valves can be optimally adjusted for the materials being sorted.