NIR Spectroscopy and Ore Recovery

The oreXpress with EZ-ID software is well-known for its mineral identification capabilities in field exploration and core logging. In these applications it provides critical data that translates into better exploration results and savings in drilling and outside laboratory analysis costs.

These mobile mineral analyzers also provide important data for the ore recovery process. A geologist, mining engineer, or mining mineralogist needs to understand what target minerals are present in the ore to determine which ore recovery process should be dealing with a hard or soft rock and affects blasting, crushing, milling, grinding, leaching, flotation – the entire recovery process.

NIR spectroscopy identifies many minerals which are not found by XRF or XRD. These amorphous minerals can include clays such as montmorillonite, kaolinite, talc, or mica and must be identified to ensure that the optimum recovery procedure is chosen. For example, a swelling clay such as montmorillonite can have an effect on everything from drilling (since it is soft it will require less energy and time to drill) to leaching (it can bring the leaching process almost to a stop).

The oreXpress is a full range, lightweight, field geological spectrometer developed for mining applications. With a spectral range of 350-2500nm and the highest available spectral resolution, the oreXpress is well equipped for identifying clays and other minerals with the optional EZ-ID™ software. EZ-ID provides fast mineral identification by matching target samples to the SpecMIN™ and USGS spectral libraries.

EZ-ID also offers a Custom Library Builder module for creating site or application specific spectral libraries. The oreXpress saves all scans and data as ASCII files for use with third party applications to:

  • Determine mineralogy and metallurgical parameters for ore processing
  • Identify potential problem minerals, for example clays
  • Create proactive process strategies for ore recovery

The oreXpress is available with a wide range of accessories including a mineral contact probe, benchtop analyzer probe, backpack, GETAC handheld computer, tablet computer, and more.

oreXpress field portable spectrometer for mineral identification in the core shack can also aid in more efficient ore recovery

SPECTRAL EVOLUTION’S EZ-ID software has identified our target sample as kaolinite using the USGS spectral library for reference. The shaded areas shown in the scan allow a geologist to concentrate on regions in the spectra of particular interest. Kaolinite is a soft mineral that can have an effect on ore processing.