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Mineralogy

At every stage during the life cycle of a mineral deposit, from exploration to resource evaluation, mine planning, plant design and operation, product quality control, and through to closure and site rehabilitation, the information from mineralogical investigations should form an integral part of the knowledge base related to the resource.

Process Mineralogy

X-Ray Diffraction

X-ray diffraction (XRD) is used to identify the minerals or phases that are present in a sample, based on their crystalline structural properties. Minerals are naturally occurring compounds, whereas phases are man-made.

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Optical Microscopy

Considering the fine-grained nature of the minerals that constitute a rock, the usage of optical microscopes in the identification of minerals and their textural relations is paramount in mineralogical investigations. The Mineralogy Division is equipped with various stereo- and petrographic microscopes.

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Qualitative And Quantitative Electron Microprobe Analysis (EMPA)

Electron microprobe analysis is a nondestructive method for determining the chemical composition of individual mineral and material grains. An electron microprobe uses a high-energy focussed beam of electrons to generate X-rays characteristic of the elements within a sample from volumes as small as 5 micrometers in diameter.

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Scanning Electron Microscopy With Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectrometer (SEM/EDS)

Scanning Electron Microscopy is a high resolution imaging technique, with a great depth of field. It shows topographical, structural and elemental information at low magnification up to 200,000X magnification. The use of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) technology is an invaluable aid in identifying and characterizing mineral and material phases together with surface features.

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Auto Sem And Equipment

Current systems employed include; QEMSCAN which is the quantitative evaluation of minerals, and the MLA, a mineral liberation analyser system.

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Quantitative Evaluation Of Minerals By Scanning Electron Microscopy (QEMSCAN)

The QEMSCAN is a fast chemical data collection system which uses a combination of backscattered electron SEM images and EDS analysis to create an image of a sample based on chemical composition.

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Mineral Liberation Analyser (MLA)

The Mineral Liberation Analyzer (MLA) is an automated mineral analysis system that can identify minerals in polished sections of drill core, particulate or lump materials, and quantify a wide range of mineral characteristics, such as mineral abundance, grain size and liberation.

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