Expomin 2016 – Introducing iMin(mineral)

EXPOMIN XIV World Mining Exhibition 25-29 April 2016 in Santiago

iMin Solutions’ James Strongman will be attending EXPOMIN‘s XIV World Mining Exhibition and Congress for Latin America next week from the 25th April to the 29th April. This conference will see the official launch of iMin Solutions Operational Mineralogy Package, iMin(mineral), made possible through collaboration between Petrolab, MinAssist and technology partner Zeiss Microscopy.

The goal of iMin(mineral) is to generate and integrate routine mineralogical information on-site and use this to provide effective operational decision support. Until recently the effectiveness of day-to-day trend-based mineralogical information for the identification of potential areas of process improvement has hit two significant road-blocks. The first is the availability of suitably rugged technology for on-site based applications, this has traditionally meant that mineralogical work requires off-site mineralogists and project by project based solutions. In turn this leads to long turnaround times, and poor integration with the day-to-day performance of the plant. Even with recent on-site solutions the challenge has been to sustain suitably qualified mineralogists at remote sites and to move sustainably from weekly mineralogical monitoring to 24-48 hourly mineralogical monitoring.

The iMin(mineral) package looks to address these problems through the use of the Zeiss ruggedized MinSCAN Mineralogic Mining system coupled with a model of expert remote support to on-site personnel. The program has a strong training and upskilling component allowing site personnel to undertake basic operation and ownership of the program. This in turn leads to staff empowerment and better mine-site staff retention. The remote support allows for QA/QC of the on-site program validating on a monthly or quarterly basis the quality of the sample preparation procedure, the integrity of the mineral database and in general avoiding the build-up of systematic errors which may harm the effectiveness of the program. The applications of the package are widespread allowing for forward feed analysis, plant monitoring and tailings management, with quick ROI and continuous improvement.

Progress at Kansanshi

First Quantum Minerals, Kansanshi Copper Mine

iMin Solutions conducted a sample preparation training workshop and review of operational mineralogy procedures in early April at Kansanshi, First Quantum Minerals’ flagship operation in north-western Zambia.

Kansanshi is a large-scale copper and gold mine capable of producing 340,000 tonnes of copper and more than 120,000 oz of gold from a 30 Mtpa throughput. As part of routine QA/QC support, the visit follows approximately 18 months of successful operational mineralogy conducted on-site.Kansanshi Case Study

The ZEISS MinSCAN ruggedized SEM, equipped with Mineralogic Mining automated mineralogy software, enables the team to generate routine mineralogical data for integration into operational decision-making, as well as carrying out project work for other departments. Supported by an on-site sample preparation laboratory, high throughput and rapid turnaround enable the team to monitor the multi-stream process required to treat the various ore types. The facility comprises separate sulphide, oxide and mixed floatation circuits, as well as a hydrometallurgy circuit, with both smelting and electro-winning plants also present.

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