Rare earth elements (REE) are either housed in exotic REE minerals that sporadically populate the host rock or they occur as ionic substitutions in the crystal structure of existing rock-forming minerals. The genesis of REEs in carbonatite rocks can result in intricate mineralogical textures between REE minerals, host rock minerals, and minerals formed by later processes.
Diamonds are widely known as a conflict mineral (“blood diamonds”), used to fund wars by rebel groups against legitimate and internationally recognised governments, since 2000. In order to halt the flow of conflict diamonds, South Africa initiated the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).
Three-dimensional computed tomography (3DCT) is a non-destructive characterisation technique that was applied to the study of gold-bearing ore from the Witwatersrand Deposit, South Africa. The ability to pinpoint gold occurrence prior to downstream comminution and leaching would potentially reduce processing costs. The aim of the study was therefore to determine to what extent gold, typically fine-grained in occurrence, could be identified in situ.
With the decrease over time of high grade, easy to process base metal sulfide ores, mineral processing operations have been forced to process low grade, disseminated and more mineralogically complex ores. Dense medium separation (DMS) is one of the techniques that can be used to upgrade low grade ores, such that they may become economic to process.