Run of Mine Ore upgrading - proof of concept plant for XRF ore sorting


Over the 2012 to 2014 period, Anglo American Platinum (AAP) has been investigating the application of ore upgrading using XRF sensor technology sourced from Rados International, at Mintek South Africa. This has been in parallel with a more comprehensive sensor sorting investigation at the Anglo American Research facilities.

Major drivers for this programme have been the attractiveness of mechanised mining and bulk mining for the PGM industry from a labour cost, productivity and safety perspective. Key to the optimisation of value is the removal of waste from the run of mine production. The scale of mining in this industry and distribution of PGM’s permit the effective economic application of rock by rock sorting.

An initial programme of bulk sample testing through a single commercial scale sorting unit supplied from Rados has been successful on several PGM ore types and source materials. The metals used for the sorting determinations have been optimised for the various PGM ore types.

Arising from this in first quarter 2015, a 25,000 tonne per month, 4 sorter, proof of concept plant, has been commissioned at the Mogalakwena Mine of AAP in the Limpopo province of South Africa. This plant will be used to determine the economic cases for multi-site applications of the technology at several potential sites. The opportunity to develop and improve the operating parameters jointly with the technology suppliers is a key component of the agreement with Rados International.

This paper will present the early results and findings from the programme on various ore samples.

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The authors have given their permission for the paper to be downloaded here.