BENEFITS MINING SECTOR
- Minerals identification.
- Raw materials characterization: optimize the dosage. Cost savings in raw material.
- Optimize conditions of the operation process. Higher quality product.
- Mineralogical analysis online: optimization of material recovery. Economic saving.
- Supervise the content of precious metals in furnace slag.
THE BENEFITS THAT XRD CAN BRING TO THE MINING SECTOR ARE
Through powder XRD analysis, it is possible to identify and quantify mineral components even as mixed crystalline phases (polycrystalline) and amorphous phases. It also provides us information about the structural state of them (polymorphism).
It is also feasible to apply this technique for the characterization/analysis of clay minerals (such as smectites) and lamellar minerals (such as micas, chlorites, etc.) by developing a defined procedure in the stages of granulometric separation, oriented aggregates, saturation with ethylene glycol vapours and/or thermal treatment; in order to evaluate the structural changes that are characteristic for certain clays. The quantitative analysis of clay mixtures by X-ray diffraction and the Rietveld method is possible but requires important crystallochemistry know-how.
Characterization to optimize the dosage. Cost savings in raw material.
Another application of diffraction is the investigation of raw materials, through the study of phase changes that can be made by monitoring structural changes of the crystalline phases contained in a sample. These changes can occur under different conditions of temperature, pressure, grinding, among others.
Although this technique can be recognized as conventional, its application is fundamental for the mineralogical characterization of a deposit; as well as to define the different minerals / phases that predominate within a metallurgical process.
Optimize conditions. Higher quality product
X-ray diffraction can help in quality control by making composition maps of mineral deposits and drill core. Through Cluster Analysis it is possible to group diffractograms quickly without much prior knowledge of the sample to carry out statistical studies.
For example, it is possible to distinguish between iron ores and waste materials from hot-rolled steel. These minerals are very similar, but with XRD they can be easily distinguished and even quantified using the Rietveld methodology.
Optimization of material recovery. Economic saving.
On-line mineralogical analysis requires special diffractometers with a specific optics. The information obtained from qualitative and quantitative on-line analysis of the mineral phases present in copper pulps provides a powerful tool for the control of the flotation process and for the monitoring of the gangue minerals such as clays, feldspars, etc.
With this information, it is possible to optimize your recovery, reduce the consumption of additives and therefore improve the quality of the concentrate. This improves, for example, the recovery of copper and molybdenum.
Supervise the content of precious metals in furnace slag.
Combining XRF and XRD techniques is possible to carry out the analysis of main elements and trace in geological samples (beads) (XRF), and also to characterize the two main rare earth oxides, which are bastnasite and monazite (XRD).