• Glacier

    WP2: Effective Sampling and Mineral Characterization

Effective Sampling and Mineral Characterization


Effective Sampling and Mineral Characterization

The second work-package from InRec project, Effective Sampling and Mineral Characterization, as part of the geometallurgical concept applied to Stjernøy Nepheline-Syenite mine owned by Sibelco, in north Norway. This work-package aims to the implementation of Geometallurgy into a developed industrial mineral mine and process plant. Geometallurgy is a holistic discipline (i.e. involving geology, mining and mineral processing) aiming to increase the knowledge of the deposit and its processing response for production optimization and risk reduction, and to efficiently use the resources available.

This work-package will provide a theoretical review and practical implementation of representative sampling within the whole process chain, from processing plant to the different mine operations. The material collected, from the different points of the processing chain, will be defined with laboratory testing and material characterization. Regarding the testing, the blend-ability of raw material will be evaluated with sound processing techniques simulating current operations. New processing options will be tested for possible implementations or optimizations in the plant. And an implied evaluation of the current processing and testing procedures at Stjernøy will be carried out. The key factor of this point is to check the representativeness of the tests currently used and it´s matching with plant response.

Material characterization, considered to be the most relevant task of the work-package, will provide key knowledge of the material exploited and produced. The characterization considers a quantification of the chemical composition and modal mineralogy from the samples, along with grain/particle sizing, and textural analysis. Different techniques will be used to define the material such as: optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, electron probe micro-analyzer, among others. Once this information is acquired, a much deeper understanding of the material will be available, and therefore different possibilities for optimization will be open and, if possible, the development of new predictive models such as geometallurgical models could be implemented to improve the whole value chain.