RT inline

Blue Cube Systems recommends real-time inline analysis for mineral processing to African mines who are battling the commodities slump.

In-line real time mineral process monitoring

There is a moral behind the current gloom of weak commodity prices. It is the urgent call for mining companies in African countries to embrace cost effective technologies in their mineral beneficiation requirements to remain sustainable. Regards to ore content measurement, Blue Cube Systems, the South African domiciled company with a global presence, tells the industry to start utilising real-time inline analysers that have a proven track record.

Stressing why they believe real-time in-line analysers are just what the doctor ordered for industry, in a statement to African Mining Brief, the company’s technical team explain: "It is beneficial to measure mineral composition as well as elemental composition as ores mostly occur as minerals and very seldom as free elements. It is commonly found that at most mines the ore deposit requires some form of treatment to separate the valuable components from the waste components.

"This separation process always makes use of some physical or chemical property of the minerals in which the valuable component is captured. This may be the relative density, some magnetic or electrical parameter, grain size or surface characteristic. For the optimum operation of a mineral separation plant, the operator requires regular information about the mineral composition at the different stages of separation. For example, different copper oxides can be differentiated from copper sulphides."

A technology company specialising in real-time inline instrumentation for the minerals processing industry, Blue Cube Systems designs, manufactures, distributes and supports a range of analysers for the measurement of the composition of dry, solution and slurry streams for various commodities. The processes include but are certainly not confined to flotation operations, wet or dry magnetic separation, electrostatic separation, gravity separation and leach operations.

Product range

Blue Cube ensures that its products are in line with the current requirements of the mining sector. It current product range includes the MQi Slurry Analyser, MQi Hydromet Analysers, the MQi Dry Analyser and Blue Cube TempoTrack.

The MQi Slurry Analyser

Used for an in-line measurement of slurry stream composition, The MQi Slurry Analyser measures mineral grade, elemental grade and particle size in-line and in real-time. The technology is safe and based on diffused reflective spectroscopy combined with proprietary Blue Cube Slurry instruments are installed IN LINE and are suitable for slurry applications such as flotation operations, wet or dry magnetic separation, electrostatic separation, gravity separation and leach operations chemometric techniques. It is suitable for installation in any plant environment and in process lines of any diameter.

MQi Hydromet Analysers

With MQi Hydromet Analysers, ionic species in clear solutions are measured in-line and in real-time, using absorption spectroscopy combined with proprietary chemometric techniques. Characteristically safe, MQi Hydromet Analysers are suitable for installation in any plant environment as long as the aqueous feed to the MQi is filtered and free of suspended solids. On-line in real time, MQi Hydromet Analysers monitor the concentration of contaminants during leaching in hydro-metallurgical process, producing reliable composition, making purification easier.

Compromise or neglect of this process results in poor quality of product.

MQi Dry Analyser

The MQi Dry Analyser is used for the real time in-line measurement of dry free flowing streams with mineral grade, elemental grade and particle size grain sizes below 2mm. Based on diffused reflective spectroscopy combined with proprietary chemometric techniques, MQi Dry Analysers are suitable for installation in any plant environment and in process lines of any diameter. With real-time accurate data, full plant surveys are not necessary.

Blue Cube TempoTrack

Installed above a flotation cell, the Blue Cube TempoTrack can be used together with the MQi Slurry Analyser or independently for real-time optimisation of flotation processes. This technology measures the following in real-time: Froth height from the lip of the flotation cell, Hfl, Tempo at which the froth runs over the lip of the cell, vf, and Stability based on the bubble bursting rate. Moreover, insensitive to environmental changes and connected by wireless mesh network, it allows for the calculation of the relative air recovery per unit cell lip length.

Calibration accuracy

In order to ensure a high standard of sampling representation for calibration accuracy, an in-line ‘Poppet’ sampler is mounted close to the optical scanner to ensure a close link between the optical scanner and the physical calibration sample.
Every Blue Cube product is linked to the technical centre of Blue Cube Systems by an Internet link, enabling remote calibration by specialists. Blue Cube has analysers applications in several major mineral processing establishment for various commodities.


Blue Cube’s products is ideal for process control as it provides real time information to either operator or control system. This eliminate adjusting processes based on outdated laboratory sample information. While samples can, and should never be eliminated, Blue Cube’s real-time information allows reduction of sampling for process control. The real cost drivers for the technology is the ability to continuously optimize; which can contribute to significant savings by ongoing adjustment of the process with relevant information , which allows eliminating impurities, managing grade and recovery or provide the ability to adjust reagent dosage to an optimum. The Savings on these items can in some situations reduce the payback period to months. Not only is all the information available via the PLC system, it is also viewable via the web on any connected device. This allows for remote monitoring of the plant process from any location.

Product research and development

Through massive investment in product research and development, Blue Cube constantly upgrades its products to ensure that they are in line with current industry requirements. In addition, through its agencies and branches strategically located globally, Blue Cube offers support to all clients in different sectors worldwide.