A Comparative Sensor-Based Ore Sorting Study on Gold Deposits: Heterogeneity, X-Ray Sensors and Advanced Sorting Algorithms

Arvin Mazhary, Huaizhe Li, Bern Klein

49th Annual Conference of Metallurgists, Vancouver, Canada, August 27-30, 2017.


Although sensor-based ore sorting has gained significant attention recently, sorting gold deposits still face a high level of skepticism by gold mining companies. In order to shed some light on the matter, this article looks at two different gold deposits that are examined using X-ray fluorescence, Electromagnetic and X-ray Transmission sensors. Heterogeneity of each sample is measured based on the assay results of each particle and is related to its sortability. Multivariate linear regression analysis was also performed on the XRF results to find potential proxy elements for detecting gold. The results from these deposits were varied and each sample showed different levels of sortability. While both X-ray sensors proved efficient for different deposits, electromagnetic sensor failed to produce any promising results. Despite unsatisfactory result for one sample, this technology can have significant advantages in terms of lowering the operational costs and improving head grades and recoveries providing that the deposit is amenable to such separation methods. Therefore, it is important to mention that sensor-based ore sorting is ore and sensor dependent, and as a result, it cannot be applied and be beneficial to all deposits. Therefore, amenability tests are required in order to examine the potential for sensor-based ore sorting before one can reject the idea.


CEEC acknowledges and thanks the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), the Metallury and Materials Society (MetSoc) and organising committee for organising the COM 2017 Conference of Metallurgists hosting World Gold and Nickel-Cobalt.

Abstracts can be found at the CIM website (http://web.cim.org/com2017/conference/SessionPapers.cfm#).

Full papers published in the Conference Proceedings will be available on onemine.org, and CEEC directs readers to http://www.onemine.org/ to access and purchase published papers.