Keeping ahead of the competition and maintaining profitability during difficult market conditions and increasing environmental remediation requirements is a key challenge for mining companies, especially during fluctuating economic conditions. The difference between failure, mere survival, and profitability ultimately depends upon a company’s ability to develop and implement more disciplined cost control measures and process improvements. Mining companies can significantly cut production costs by optimizing their processes.
Near-infrared (NIR) analysis is a long-standing analytical tool for in situ measurement of natural resources. When implemented into industrial facilities performing mineral beneficiation, the real-time information provided by NIR technology allows users to make immediate adjustments in response to changing conditions. This ability provides for more accurate determination of chemical input levels resulting in a higher volume of quality yield while reducing processing time and lowering energy use.
NIR technology can determine a wide range of ore properties, including:
- Abundances of iron (and other transition element) oxides and hydroxides
- Raw Earth Element (REE) minerals
- Acidity and Acid consumption
- Total swelling clays
- Detailed clay mineralogy
- Acid consumption
ASD’s NIR spectrometers, including the TerraSpec® 4 Standard-Res mining analyzer and QualitySpec® 7000 over-the-conveyor system provide real-time mineralogical and metallurgical information without the need for any sample collection or preparation. ASD systems are also ideal for analyzing smaller particle sizes or large quantities of samples in an automated lab. The flexibility of ASD’s mineral measurement solutions allows for unlimited testing at multiple sites.
Optimizing ore processing with NIR offers several key advantages to mining companies:
- Rapid sample analysis
- Non-contact, non destructive analysis
- Ability to measure multiple constituents simultaneously
- Real-time feedback that moves at the pace of your production line
- Continuous feedforward or feedback data
- Easy integration with your site’s information and control systems
- Environmentally friendly testing method
Operators with real-time data can accurately adjust the chemical usage in a flotation process by matching the additions of flotation reagents to the mineralogical abundances of ore and gangue minerals in the ore feed. Similarly, operators can immediately optimize the agglomeration process in heap leach processing with real-time feedback on mineral concentration levels. ASD QualitySpec products work seamlessly with your information systems so that you can make timely decisions to maximize efficiency—and increase profits.