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Analysis of mineral grades for geometallurgy: Combined element-to-mineral conversion and quantitative X-ray diffraction
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5979-5608
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering.
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden – Rossendorf, Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, Halsbruecker Straße 34, 09599 Freiberg.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering.
Number of Authors: 42015 (English)In: Minerals Engineering, ISSN 0892-6875, E-ISSN 1872-9444, Vol. 82, p. 25-35Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Knowledge of the grade of valuable elements and its variation is not sufficient for geometallurgy. Minerals define not only the value of the deposit, but also the method of extraction and concentration. A number of methods for obtaining mineral grades were evaluated with a focus on geometallurgical applicability, precision and trueness. For a geometallurgical program, the number of samples to be analyzed is large, therefore a method for obtaining mineral grades needs to be cost-efficient, relatively fast, and reliable. Automated mineralogy based on scanning electron microscopy is generally regarded as the most reliable method for analyzing mineral grades. However, the method is time demanding and expensive. Quantitative X-ray diffraction has a relatively high detection limit, 0.5%, while the method is not suitable for some base and precious metal ores, it still provides significant details on gangue mineral grades. The application of the element-to-mineral conversion has been limited to the simple mineralogy because the number of elements analyzed limits the number of calculable mineral grades. This study investigates a new method for the estimation of mineral grades applicable for geometallurgy by combining both the element-to-mineral conversion method and quantitative X-ray diffraction with Rietveld refinement. The proposed method not only delivers the required turnover for geometallurgy, but also overcomes the shortcomings if quantitative X-ray diffraction or element-to-mineral is used alone

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 82, p. 25-35
National Category
Metallurgy and Metallic Materials
Research subject
Mineral Processing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-29511DOI: 10.1016/j.mineng.2015.04.023ISI: 000362617800004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84942190839Local ID: 304b2a4f-f491-4bf6-8d10-14bc9b45181cOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-29511DiVA, id: diva2:1002735
Conference
Process Mineralogy : 17/11/2014 - 19/11/2014
Note

Validerad; 2015; Nivå 1; 20150616 (andbra)

; Konferensartikel i tidskriftAvailable from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Development of a geometallurgical framework for iron ores - A mineralogical approach to particle-based modeling
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Development of a geometallurgical framework for iron ores - A mineralogical approach to particle-based modeling
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Utveckling av ett geometallurgiskt ramverk för järnmalmer - Ett mineralogiskt angreppssätt till partikelbaserad modellering.
Abstract [en]

The demands for efficient utilization of ore bodies and proper risk management in the mining industry have resulted in a new cross-disciplinary subject called geometallurgy. Geometallurgy connects geological, mineral processing and subsequent downstream processing information together to provide a comprehensive model to be used in production planning and management. A geometallurgical program is an industrial application of geometallurgy. Various approaches that are employed in geometallurgical programs include the traditional way, which uses chemical elements, the proxy method, which applies small-scale tests, and the mineralogical approach using mineralogy or the combination of those. The mineralogical approach provides the most comprehensive and versatile way to treat geometallurgical data. Therefore it was selected as a basis for this study.

For the mineralogical approach, quantitative mineralogical information is needed both for the deposit and the process. The geological model must describe the minerals present, give their chemical composition, report their mass proportions (modal composition) in the ore body and describe the ore texture. The process model must be capable of using mineralogical information provided by the geological model to forecast the metallurgical performance of different geological volumes and periods. A literature survey showed that areas, where more development is needed for using the mineralogical approach, are: 1) quick and inexpensive techniques for reliable modal analysis of the ore samples; 2) ore textural characterization of the ore to forecast the liberation distribution of the ore when crushed and ground; 3) unit operation models based on particle properties (at mineral liberation level) and 4) a system capable of handling all this information and transferring it to production model. This study focuses on developing tools in these areas.

A number of methods for obtaining mineral grades were evaluated with a focus on geometallurgical applicability, precision, and trueness. A new technique developed called combined method uses both quantitative X-ray powder diffraction with Rietveld refinement and the Element-to-Mineral Conversion method. The method not only delivers the required turnover for geometallurgy but also overcomes the shortcomings if X-ray powder diffraction or Element-to-Mineral Conversion were used alone.

Characterization of ore texture before and after breakage provides valuable insights about the fracture pattern in comminution, the population of particles for specific ore texture and their relation to parent ore texture. In the context of the mineralogical approach to geometallurgy, predicting the particle population from ore texture is a critical step to establish an interface between geology and mineral processing. A new method called Association Indicator Matrix developed to assess breakage pattern of ore texture and analyze mineral association. The results of ore texture and particle analysis were used to generate particle population from ore texture by applying particle size distribution and breakage frequencies. The outcome matches well with experimental data specifically for magnetite ore texture.

In geometallurgy, process models can be classified based on in which level the ore, i.e. the feed stream to the processing plant and each unit operation, is defined and what information subsequent streams carry. The most comprehensive level of mineral processing models is the particle-based one which includes practically all necessary information on streams for modeling unit operations. Within this study, a particle-based unit operation model was built for wet low-intensity magnetic separation, and existing size classification and grinding models were evaluated to be used in particle level. A property-based model of magnetic beneficiation plant was created based on one of the LKAB operating plants in mineral and particle level and the results were compared. Two different feeds to the plant were used. The results revealed that in the particle level, the process model is more sensitive to changes in feed property than any other levels. Particle level is more capable for process optimization for different geometallurgical domains.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå University of Technology, 2017. p. 107
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords
Geometallurgy, process simulation, breakage characterization, ore texture, iron ore, modal mineralogy
National Category
Mineral and Mine Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-62515 (URN)978-91-7583-860-1 (ISBN)978-91-7583-861-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-05-09, F531, F-hus, Luleå University of Technology Campus, Luleå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-04-05 Created: 2017-03-30 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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Parian, MehdiLamberg, PerttiRosenkranz, Jan

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