One of the most important processes in the mining industry is Bulk Ore Sorting. It is gaining more attention now for its ability to improve efficiency and maximize cost control in the mining process. With #bulkoresorting, mining companies can sort through the material and eliminate unwanted waste, but it requires the right equipment and technology.
One of the primary considerations regarding bulk ore sorting is the variability of the material being conveyed. The sensing technology used should be representative of the bulk material and be able to accurately differentiate between ore and waste. This is especially important in #copper mining, where a cutoff grade of 0.2% copper is often desired.
Types of Ore Sorting Technology
When selecting the technology for bulk ore sorting, it is important to consider the variability of the material, the sensing technology used, and the ability to accurately differentiate between ore and waste. One of the technologies is #XRF (X-ray fluorescence) which may be more effective in a laboratory environment, but is not well-suited for real-time measurement in a bulk ore sorting setting.
On the other hand, PGNAA (Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis) and PFTNA (Passive/Fast Thermal Neutron Analysis) are techniques that can penetrate all of the material on a conveyor belt, even at high belt speeds, and provide accurate measurements in a bulk ore sorting setting. The main difference between these two techniques is the type of neutron source used. PGNAA uses a californium M252 source, a naturally occurring neutron emitter. PFTNA, on the other hand, uses a neutron generator.
Both PGNAA and PFTNA work by producing neutrons which penetrate the material and attach to an atom, exciting the nucleus. When the nucleus becomes excited, it releases a gamma ray. These gamma rays are then absorbed by detectors, which create a spectrum. This spectrum is then analyzed to determine the concentration of elements within the sample.
Factors to Consider
The key to getting the most accurate results from these technologies is to use the right sources and detectors. In the case of PGNAA, it is recommended to use up to 78 micrograms of californium for best performance. With PFTNA, one of the advantages of using a neutron generator is that it can be turned off during periods of non-production.
Another important factor to consider when designing an analyzer for Bulk ore Sorting is uniformity. This refers to the ability of the analyzer to measure all of the material on the conveyor belt. To achieve this, it is important to place sources and detectors in the optimal positions within the analyzer. This will ensure that all of the material is measured and that the analyzer gives a representative analysis.
With the right technology in place, mining companies can effectively sort through the material and eliminate unwanted waste material, improving overall efficiency and cost control in the mining process. It is important to research and consider all options to make the best decision for a specific application.
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