This is the third report in a series of reports RFC Ambrian is producing on new technology and innovation. In this report we focus on Pre-concentration and Assaying. While these concepts have been around for a long time and are mature sub-sectors, new disruptive technologies are appearing in the space that, along with the digitalisation of mining operations, are set to dramatically change the operational landscape.
Sorting equipment has evolved: There has been a considerable increase in interest in the mining industry in looking at sensing technologies that can measure the entire content of material on a moving conveyor. In addition, faster sensor-based sorting equipment has been developed for traditional applications where particles are singularly detected by a sensor and then ejected.
New disruptive pre-conditioning technology: The most effective and efficient new technology for bulk pre-concentration is magnetic resonance, which is now reaching commercialisation. As well as accurately measuring the grade at speed, it is also capable of rapidly sorting the mine output by rejecting the waste material and allowing high grade feed to the plant.
Impact of pre-concentration: By removing coarse barren material, pre-concentration has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of material that requires downstream processing. If conducted close to the mining face, it can also reduce the volume of ore transported to the processing plant.
Other new technology: In pre-concentration, the simpler XRF technology being used to assist shovel operators for in-situ ore and waste selection is also an interesting development. New technology is also appearing in the assaying and analysing of minerals in the exploration field, at the exploration drilling stage, post drilling assaying, in the mine pit, and in the processing plant.
New disruptive assaying technology: The most recent and disruptive of these technologies is the PhotonAssay technology which is able to provide a chemistry-free, non-destructive assay, in minutes. It provides accurate and fully automated analysis of mineral grades in ore samples with high throughput rates and has the potential to replace conventional fire-assays. It is also being designed for use on site for mine planning, grade control, and process monitoring.
RFC Ambrian has a track record of over 30 years of providing independent corporate advisory and investment services to the global mining industry, from both a technical and financial perspective.
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For the full 24page report please click here