Spectral Geoscience use infrared spectroscopy as a tool to extract qualitative and quantitative mineral information from geological samples to support the objectives of exploration geologists, mine geologists, geotechnical engineers, geometallurgists and environmental engineers.
Examples of applied hyperspectral-mineral results include:
exploration surface samples
Exploration drill core and chips
mineral prospectivity modelling
MINE PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
Mineral spectroscopy is often best suited to logging the dominating gangue minerals associated with sulphide deposits as most sulphides do not generate an unambiguous infrared spectrum.
Hyperspectral core logging compliments grade, lithology and structural information in mine planning and development. Improvements in mine-mill accounting and reconciliation can be achieved by incorporating hyperspectral mineralogical core logging data into the mine model to reduce uncertainty.
Applied examples include; stock pile designation, sorting and blending based on separating ore from gangue mineralogy; similarly over a conveyor belt sorting feed to appropriate crusher or mill. Provides strong links and input into subsequent geometallurgical flow sheet design.
Identification of deleterious minerals in metallurgical processes resulting in lower recovery (e.g. talc in froth flotation consumes large amounts of reagents; clay coatings reducing grinding efficiency).
Identifies the nature and deportment of mineralogical impurities that dilute grade, for example, kaolinite, gibbsite and quartz in iron ore bodies that also incur smelter penalties.
Delineates mineralogical spatial domains whose relationships with ore may indicate differing metallurgical processing requirements for optimal recoveries. Identifying these domains in advance can reduce energy consumption and improve an operations efficiency and ore recovery economics.
Mineralogy can be used as a proxy to predict mine-scale physical processing performance. For example, comminution varies according to rock hardness that is largely controlled by the constituent mineralogy (and texture). Also, acid consumption is governed by the presence and abundance of acid consuming minerals such as carbonates.