X-Ray Analysis for Mining Processes

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 16:45

Processes of resource definition and scoping studies are crucial at all stages in the mining process chain, from exploration and grade control to product quality assurance. X-ray analysis is currently considered to be one of the most advanced tools for industrial process control and research for mining operations. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) are the key techniques for characterizing the elements and crystalline phase composition of a material sample. Maximizing the exploration budgets, pre-screening laboratory samples, identifying drill targets quickly, reducing re-mobilization costs, and getting an accurate report to the capital markets as quickly as possible can be facilitated using the right and most precise analytical technique. PANalytical is a world leader in X-ray analysis, and its technology can characterize a wide range of materials, covering all steps in the process chain, from exploration through grade control to process control and product quality assurance. The X-ray analysis of polycrystalline powder samples has advanced from its roots in laboratory research and is regarded now as one of the most powerful industrial process control tools for the mining industry.

The X-ray diffraction systems are configured with ultra highspeed X-ray detectors, PIXcel3D and X’Celerator, which allow the collection of a complete scan in minutes instead of hours for a diffraction pattern. The development of new software has transformed the task of a skilled specialist into a robust, workman-like and completely automated tool. Cluster analysis software for XRD is the perfect statistical tool for grade control within an automated environment.

The X-ray fluorescence solution dedicated to the mining industry includes a complete set of traceable standards and application templates for effortless analysis setup. If in-line real time process control is needed, the CNA cross-belt analyzers can offer a unique solution through a technology called PFTNA (Pulsed Fast and Thermal Neutron Activation). Pulsed excitation by an ON/OFF electrical neutron source across and through all material on the belt instantaneously delivers highly representative, elemental analysis contributing to the profitability in the minerals and power plant industries for measuring copper, iron ore, nickel, and coal, for example.