The Future of Blasthole Sample Preparation

Lewis Australia recently successfully completed a project to create an automatic facility processing 500 blasthole and exploration samples per day to analysis specimens.

  • Only requires two operators for loading and unloading functions
  • Processing to sampling theory current best practice
  • Fast turnaround from sample to fully prepared specimen
  • Full retention of all identity and processing data on each specimen
  • Industrial robot handling of samples in trays, buckets, tumblers, cups, flasks and test tubes
  • Automatic cleaning of re-usable containers
  • Comprehensive integrated safety system
  • Full customer access to programmes for future changes
  • Flexible to allow additional digestions
  • All manual handling of exposed acid is removed

Overview of process:

Ore Processing Cell

An operator manually loads blasthole or exploration samples into the system where they are automatically dried in ovens, crushed, split, pulverised and finally transferred into a cup which is taken by conveyor into the next cell.

Sample Preparation Cell

A robot dispenses sample material into flasks after which dry chemicals are dispensed from feeders on a rotary table. Unused sample is archived. Reference samples can also be prepared at customer defined intervals.

Sample Digestion Cell

An environmentally contained cell safely enables liquids including acids to be added to flasks. Bulk quantities of liquid chemicals are safely stored for automatic dispensing. Flask contents are heated, mixed, dissolved and a precise quantity transferred to a test tube for further laboratory analysis.

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