Mineral Processing

As operations grow and change through the life cycle of an ore body, knowing the composition of upcoming feed material is vital to optimizing the concentrator performance. PMC offers integrated services to monitor existing operations on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, as well as Ore Body Knowledge benchmarking surveys to predict grind size, liberation and theoretical grade and recoveries.

Metallurgical Prediction

When building a new resource or developing further ore reserves of an operation  already in production, it is critical to maximize available information to develop or improve the process flowsheet. PMC offers a consolidated approach to clearly understand both value and “fatal flaw” characteristics of the ore using the newly developed TIMA system & Oxford INCA SQ elemental analyser.


Our services include:

Ore Characterization Benchmarking

Determination of ore behaviour via automated TIMA Mineralogical Analysis allows for benchmarking of ore types and zones within deposits in terms of mineral speciation and liberation degree - and distribution - variability, as well as deleterious element deportment and their location at appropriate scales. This Geometallurgical approach has been applied at many large scale- and newly developed mine sites and allows for both circuit development and optimization to enhance the ore-body knowledge over the mine life.


Heap Leach Characterization

Heap leaching is a cost-effective process method for a variety of ore types, including gold and copper ores. Using the newly developed TIMA system, the ore minerals and their associations with leachable gangue and non-leachable gangue can be quantified, providing a complete picture of the ore mineral relationship in the coarsely crushed rock. Dye penetration studies utilize standard leach solutions doped with a fluorescent dye during column leaching tests, timed interval photographs under ultraviolet light determine the degree of fluid ingress into coarse fragments. Quantification of the ingress of solution is compared to a database of other rock types from heap leach operations.


Size-by-Size Mineralogy

The size-by-size analysis approach is a well established and crucial method for providing valuable insights by identifying and quantifying factors that control ore behaviour during processing and tailings disposal. Grind Size prediction and Grade-Recovery predictions are achievable using this methodology and have been proven accurate to laboratory and plant performance. Key to this approach is the integration of analytical, sampling and other cross-disciplinary heuristics to ensure high-precision and accurate data.


Geometallurgy is the combination of geology, geostatistics, and extractive metallurgy to create a predictive model for an Orebody and Operation over the life of the orebody. This entails a cross-disciplinary approach to address complexities in an ore body and ore/processing interdependencies to understand and optimize the resource economics. Our approach utilizes a sub-sampling method and incorporates the economical TIMA system to obtain the vital mineralogical information required. 

Mineral Processing Operation Support

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Monthly Mineralogy Audits

Services provided to Mill Superintendents and Plant Metallurgists for weekly/monthly mineralogical analysis of Plant Feed, Final Concentrate and Final Tail. With the advances of new and costly in-plant mineralogical apparatus, a spotlight has been provided to highlight the importance of on-going mineralogical analysis of the various circuit streams and their value to ongoing operations. 


Ore Body Knowledge Benchmarking

Orebody knowledge involves a Geometallurgical understanding of the orebody characteristics relevant to geological, mining, ore processing, marketing and environmental issues, of the various ore zones, which is dictated by the mineralogical relationships. 


Rapid Ore Characterization (ROC)

PMCʼs Rapid Ore Characterization (ROC) package provides quick turnaround, semi-quantitative data for preliminary evaluation of mineral processing products. A report is provided detailing mineral composition, textural association and liberation data, along with an interactive online consultation with the mineralogist if desired. This initial consultation can be completed within 24hrs of receipt of the samples so that the metallurgist can obtain semi-quantitative data to evaluate issues effecting grade or recovery and track gross variations/trends in mineralogy.


Mineral Recovery Optimization

To realize the full value of an orebody, it is important to fully characterise the deposit and monitor the Tailings streams to determine the sources and identity of textural variability that control losses to tailings. Capturing data that reflect natural variations in textures and mineralogy - which vary throughout the deposit - is thus essential in monitoring and optimizing concentrator performance. Examples include optimizing the primary and secondary grinds to fully liberate the ore minerals, while dealing with tonnage constraints and optimizing revenue capture. Understanding key size-dependent relationships linking geology, mineralogy and processing can be critical to this knowledge-capture evaluation. Careful sampling and analytical campaigns can assist in identifying mineralogical controls and correlations with performance that would otherwise escape detection by chemical analysis and metal accounting alone. 

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©Process Mineralogical Consulting, Ltd.  2019

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