Scientists are working on a new range of materials characterisation analysers and techniques that could help unlock the value contained in Australia’s mineral deposits and improve processing performance, according to the October issue of Process.
Machine-mounted sensors, being developed through CSIRO Minerals Down Under Flagship, could help locate ore deposits, characterise the mining environment, and differentiate ore grades.
This will enable automated mining machines to respond ‘intelligently’ to the changing detail of the environment and offer real-time amendments to the mine plan.
Another prototype in development combines the best features of two existing materials characterisation techniques – x-ray diffraction and x-ray fluorescence – into a new slurry analyser.
The new prototype, dubbed XRDF for its dual origins, is capable of measuring both mineralogy and ultra-low elemental composition directly on a process-stream, without the need for labour-intensive, time-consuming and potentially error-prone sampling.
CSIRO scientist Dr James Tickner said the new prototype could offer a number of benefits over existing on-stream analysers.
“We’re not aware of any other system capable of doing accurate, on-stream mineralogy,” Dr Tickner said.
“The ability to detect elements at parts-per-billion levels in an on-stream system is unique.”“We’re not aware of any other system capable of doing accurate, on-stream mineralogy,”
Dr Tickner saidDr Tickner and his team are also working on gamma-activation analysis – a new analysis method that may deliver all the benefits of neutron activation without the need for a nuclear reactor.
The method is expected to provide accurate, multi-element analysis of mineral samples without extensive sample preparation, and measure very low levels of more than 30 elements in samples weighing just a few hundred grams.
The method could significantly improve sampling accuracy.
Other stories in this issue of Process include:Automated analysis creates commercial edge: An automated image analysis system that quantifies the mineralogy of ores is helping a mineral sands company better understand its deposits
Aluminium could hold the key to Ranger water purification: A range of materials characterisation techniques have helped Energy Resources Australia examine potential water treatment strategies for treating process water at the mine so that it can be safely disposed.
These and other stories can be found in the October issue of Process, which will be released on Thursday 8 October.
National Research Flagships
CSIRO initiated the National Research Flagships to provide science-based solutions in response to Australia’s major research challenges and opportunities. The 10 Flagships form multidisciplinary teams with industry and the research community to deliver impact and benefits for Australia.
Marina Johnson | EurekAlert!
25.07.2017 | Vanderbilt University
Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces
25.07.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
25.07.2017 | Life Sciences