If you manage coal, cement, or mineral processing operations, your goal is to keep things running smoothly, efficiently, safely, and profitably. Whether it’s for mineral analysis, bulk weighing monitoring, sampling, or informatics, you are probably constantly seeking the latest ways and technologies to optimize your mining operations.
Here are some technologies that can aid in the mineral workflow, including exploration, beneficiation, air monitoring, and material handling.
(Download the eBook: A Practical Guide to Improving Mining and Mineral Operations.)
At the exploration stage, a quick, non-destructive analysis is often required for outcrop and soil analysis, advanced exploration and drilling, core sample analysis, mine mapping, grade control, and cuttings analysis for mud logging and reservoir characterization. This data will often enable geologists and miners to make data driven decisions on locations and sites. XRF analysis allows you to take assay analysis in real time, and can be used in mine mapping, ore grade control, and environmental compliance. Elemental analysis is critical to the exploration and mining of a wide variety of base metals, precious metals, rare earth elements, mineral fuels, industrial minerals, and gas-bearing strata samples.
Something to be cautious about is dangerous radiation, which is often found in mines. Personal radiation monitors can detect and locate radiation sources. Fugitive dust from coal and minerals is hazardous to both personal health and the environment. Personal dust monitors help monitor and alert miners regarding the level of dust.
The ore from the mine must be sent to the concentrator in an efficient and safe way via conveyor belts. Belt scales attach to conveyors and supply real-time volume by weight information to assist with the accounting of material received from the mine. They also assist in the control of feed into the milling circuit. Tramp metal detectors are used to identify unwanted metal, such as broken pieces of equipment that enter the material stream, so they can be removed and equipment damage can be avoided. Cross-belt elemental analyzers that utilize Prompt Gamma Neutron Activated Analysis supply minute-by-minute analysis of the quality of ore received from the mine, helping to ensure the best stockpile management.
But be aware of safety considerations. Belt misalignment and safety pull switches should be part of conveyor safety. Switches can trigger an emergency stop when a conveyor belt runs off the idlers due to misalignment; this action can help prevent injury to workers or expensive damage and downtime. Safety pull switches are generally connected to a cable installed on the side of conveyors, and can initiate an emergency stop when the cable is pulled by a worker as needed.
During the mineral processing stage, the ore must be crushed, milled, separated, screened, and treated to remove impurities and help ensure the highest quality of material. Continuous online analysis and monitoring of raw material composition is key to improving product quality and integrity, maximizing resources, and meeting customer specifications. Slurry process control systems and metallurgical sample preparation equipment supplies companies with reliable, accurate data and critical input for metallurgical accounting and particle size analysis. Particle size monitors utilize an ultra sonic attenuation technique and supplies a minute-by-minute analysis of particle size distribution, which can be used in grind control optimization to ensure that over or under grinding does not occur.
These technologies allow operators to optimize their process and recovery, realize significant savings, and improve profitability. Non-contact nuclear density gauges measure the density or percent solids of a liquid or slurry in a pipe and are used for applications containing a high temperature, highly toxic or highly corrosive process. This helps to ensure accurate process control and optimum productivity.
Because mining sites are usually remote, they often utilize coal-fired power plants to supply power to a mining site. To comply with environmental guidelines, emissions should be continuously monitored for toxic fumes and other pollutants. Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) help mining operations monitor SO2, NOx, CO, O2, HG (mercury), PM 2.5/ 10. comply with environmental standards (including U.S. EPA Part 60 or Part 75 performance standards, as well as other U.S and International ambient and source air monitoring standards).
Fugitive dust, which could be hazardous to health, refers to particulate that is lifted into the air either by man-made or natural activities in large open areas. Fugitive dust is typically the result from activities such as the physical movement of soil, vehicles traveling over unpaved surfaces, heavy equipment operation, blasting, and wind – all found in mining operations. Dust monitors utilize highly sensitive light-scattering photometer (nephelometer) technology and provide continuous measurements of the concentrations of airborne particles.
We outline these aspects of mineral operations and delve deeper into the technology and products that can be utilized by mining and mineral companies in our eBook: A Practical Guide to Improving Mining and Mineral Operations. You can download it now and discover solutions that can help optimize mining performance and improve throughput & recovery while driving sustainability and safety.
- Download the eBook: A Practical Guide to Improving Mining and Mineral Operations.