New Conference Paper – Gold in Tailings, Conference of Metallurgists, Vancouver

New Conference Paper – Gold in Tailings, Conference of Metallurgists, Vancouver

Gold losses in tailings present a particular challenge to traditional 2D based petrography and automated mineralogy techniques due to a number of factors. Grades tend to be very low (<0.5 g/t). Gold mineralisation is often nuggety and unevenly dispersed. Gold particles have high density and high tenor (Au minerals are  proportionally very rich in gold content – i.e. native gold at >90% Au). The issue being that only a few grains will carry the entire grade of the sample. All these factors combined mean there are often very few particles to aim for in polished section preparation. Automated mineralogy techinques would require the preparation of multiple polished blocks and the analysis of large particle populations which is expensive and time consuming, often with a low chance of intersecting a fine-grained gold particle. An additional problem would be the potential to simply obliterate very fine-grained gold occurrences during grinding and polishing.  X-Ray microscopy (XRM) techniques have the potential to overcome many of these problems. Work exploring the 3D (XRM) and 2D (automated mineralogy) based analysis of low-grade gold tailings has...
Global Connections Fund

Global Connections Fund

The global connections fund aims to provide funding support to Australian researches and SMEs. Specifically the fund is designed to; increase linkages and collaborations with key global economies (e.g. the UK) promote researcher-industry engagement and knowledge transfer encourage translational activities, end use development and commercialisation outcomes For the 2016/17 round of Priming grant and Bridging grant applications Petrolab Limited applied with the University of Tasmania for funds to “Integrate kinetic testing for best practice mine waste characterization”. The trend in mining towards larger, lower grade ores, means that often >99% of material mined is waste. Often this waste contains sulfide minerals that produce acid by processes known as acid rock drainage and metal leaching (ARDML). If this acidic drainage enters water courses, toxic metals may enter the surrounding ecosystem and become bio-accessible to humans. Management of mine waste is therefore critical to protect communities and reduce liabilities when the mine reaches end of life. This project is looking to develop best practice for ARDML management. This work aims to reform feed characterization through the introduction of a threefold pre-characterisation protocol. This would involve...
Imaging and Analysis of Microcrystals

Imaging and Analysis of Microcrystals

The vast majority of our work involves the preparation of 30 mm polished blocks for quantitative analysis. However the Zeiss Mineralogic system is also perfectly geared towards the analysis of unpolished micromounts. This can be very useful when the sample mass is very low and preparation in epoxy resin would lead to the likely loss of the overall sample. Equally, it can be very useful on occasion, and particularly with small samples, to preserve any crystal habits as useful indicators of mineral speciation. Some recent examples of micromount analyses are shown below. Euhedral edge of a shattered cassiterite crystal. Partially intergrown with saccharoidal feldspars these cassiterite crystrals were collected from...
Process Mineralogy 2017

Process Mineralogy 2017

Petrolab are proud sponsors of Process Mineralogy 2017 in Cape Town next week and have the privilege of presenting two papers at the conference. The first presentation is on the optimization of automated mineralogy for operational mine-site applications. Automated mineralogy systems have been around for over 20 years now but this presentation looks at the next paradigm shift in the application of this technology into operational contexts. Effectively using automated mineralogy on mine-sites has had to overcome three substantial hurdles. This has been (i) the presence of a sufficiently ruggedized system for mine-site deployment; (ii) the turnaround times, dependent on slow sample preparation, slow data acquisition and slow data interpretation, and (iii) the complexity of the systems that have often required (expensive) off-site specialists for implementation and running. Our paper explores solutions to these challenges and presents different case studies that it could be applied to (including one case study where it is being applied). The full abstract is below.   Optimising Automated Mineralogy for Operational Mine Site Applications. Strongman, J*., Brough, C*., Fletcher, J*., Garside, R*., Prinsloo, A’. & Tordoff,...
Petrolab welcomes Corinne Garner

Petrolab welcomes Corinne Garner

Thank you for the recent interest shown in the vacancy for Junior Mineralogist at Petrolab Limited. We appreciate all the received applications and welcome Corinne Garner to the team at Petrolab. She recently completed her Masters at Camborne School of Mines having previously undertaken a Bachelors degree at the University of Aberdeen. Her courses included ore mineralogy and petrology, analytical techniques for mineral analysis and sample preparation, ore deposit geology and mineral...