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.

Profile

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. Mineralogy during exploration provides an early indication of likely later extraction processes required. It can also be used to constrain end-member variability for geometallurgical mapping and for process control modelling.

Mineralogy for feasibility studies includes quantification of significant minerals, determination of mineral compositions, and the description and quantification of factors such as size, shape, texture, associations, and liberation characteristics of the minerals in ore samples, mineral separates, and plant streams.

Mintek’s Mineralogy division provides the following expert services:

  • Ore and process mineralogy using Automated Scanning Electron Microscopes such as the QEMSCANTM and MLA systems
  • Mineral identification, description and quantification using X-ray diffraction, Optical microscopy, Scanning electron microscopy and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
  • Determination of mineral compositions, using an electron microprobe with light element detection capabilities

We have staff with a wide range of experience in precious and base metals, ferrochrome and industrial minerals, gemstones and construction-related materials.

 Equipment

  • X-ray diffraction analysis –  Bruker D8 X-ray diffractometer, with TOPAS software
  • Optical microscopy –a full range of optical microscopes with various attachments
  • Quantitative microanalysis – choice of one electron microprobe and one scanning electron microscope
  • Image analysis facilities –three automated scanning electron microscopes equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray analysers and image analysers, including QEMSCANTM (quantitative evaluation of minerals) and MLA (Mineral Liberation Analyser) systems
  • Well equipped sample preparation facilities including cutting, crushing, milling, screening, subsampling and preparation of polished and thin sections

The Division runs a dedicated Diamond Provenance Laboratory, funded by the SA Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator (SADPMR) and equipped with a state-of-the-art Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (LA-ICP-MS). Diamond shape, colour, surface feature, trace element and FTIR data can be reported for any submitted sample set, free of charge, in return for use of this information for forensic database purposes.

For further information contact:

Manager
Mineralogy Division,
Telephone: +27 11 709-4744
Fax: +27 11 709-4564
E-mail: mineralogy@mintek.co.za

Mintek
200 Malibongwe Drive, Randburg, South Africa
Private Bag X3015, Randburg 2125 South Africa
Tel: +27 11 709 4111
www.mintek.co.za