Petrolab welcomes Aileen Barwell

Petrolab welcomes Aileen Barwell

Petrolab are delighted to welcome Aileen Barwell as our new Office Manager. Aileen brings extensive experience of working as a personal assistant or executive assistant across a diverse range of previous employments. This has included secretarial support to Materials consultants within Hong Kong, to a series of Executive Secretary positions, the latest of which was 9 years as the Executive Secretary to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Hong Kong. More recently she has worked as an Educational assistant, a Caseworker for Candy Atherton, the former MP for Falmouth-Camborne and a Personal Assistant for WCA Chartered Surveyors. Her experience and expertise are an invaluable addition to Petrolab....
Petrolab welcomes Mariola Zając

Petrolab welcomes Mariola Zając

Petrolab are delighted to welcome Mariola Zając. Mariola has recently completed her Masters at AGH University of Science and Technology having previously completed a Bachelors degree at the same university. Her courses included ore mineralogy, mineralogy and petrology. She has also completed work experience at Amarante Investments looking at base metal exploration in Lower Silesia. As part of this work she obtained a qualification as an assistant driller. She is multi-lingual which should prove useful to Petrolab’s increasing number of worldwide...
Mineralogic 101 – Basic Outputs

Mineralogic 101 – Basic Outputs

The Zeiss Mineralogic system is split into three sections (Mineralogic, Mineralogic Explorer and Mineralogic Reporter). They cover three distinct areas, namely; (i) the collection of data, (ii) the analysis of the database, and (iii) the reporting of the results. The last of these is the focus of this article. Mineralogic Reporter has been designed by Petrolab and Zeiss and is focused on the efficient extraction of information from the results database. The first step is to select the samples and the relative proportions – it is particularly important with reconstructing samples from individual size fractions to get their relative proportions accurate. Once the samples have been selected the Mineral list used within the database can then be simplified as desired (e.g. If the sample contains trace amounts of minerals such as zircon, ilmenite, monazite, and these aren’t relevant to the overall job, then they could be grouped as “Accessory Phases” – as below). A similar example is shown below for a Cu project where bornite, chalcopyrite and chalcocite were the primary Cu-bearing minerals but where there were a host of...
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...