Australian supplier of scientific equipment AXT has installed a new automated mineralogy system at China Molybdenum Company’s (CMOC) Northparkes Mines, located near the town of Parkes in central west New South Wales, Australia.
The installation of the automated SEM-based minerals analysis system TESCAN TIMA to the copper and gold mine’s analytical capabilities adds automated mineralogy capabilities for advanced characterisation of process plant.
According to the company, the installation will also add geological samples to the company’s on-site assay and metallurgical laboratory offerings.
TIMA will generate automated data, which will be used in a process plant, as well as ore characterisation sense and to support metallurgical optimisation projects.
Production control and optimisation information will be integrated with plant variables to allow troubleshooting and optimisation of concentrator performance.
Mining operations such as resource model validation and optimisation can also be supported using instrument.
Northparkes Mines ore processing department manager Roslyn Dalton said: "The benefits expected from the TIMA will apply to all areas of our business including exploration, underground development and production; ore process control and marketing, all linking together to achieve our goal of greater efficiency.
"In particular, the TIMA will be a good fit for our existing metallurgical applications."
AXT managing director Richard Trett said: "I have every confidence that the vision shown by Northparkes Mines will establish the economic benefit of onsite mineralogy and prove a pivotal step in the modernisation of the Australian mining industry."
TIMA uses a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDX) system to perform full spectrum analyses at fast speeds.
It can characterise mineral abundance, size by size liberation, mineral association and grain size on multiple samples automatically.
Image: TESCAN TIMA automated minerals analysis system. Photo: courtesy of AXT PTY Ltd.