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MEI Online: Analytical Techniques & Applied Mineralogy: Latest News: April 29th 2016


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:: Introducing iMin Solutions A new way to Build Mineralogy Capability in Operations


MinAssist, along with Petrolab have teamed up to establish iMin Solutions, a company focused on bringing greater mineralogical capability directly to the mine site and mineral processing plant. The driving influence of iMin Solutions is to provide accessible mineralogy solutions for operations, with a focus on data integration and remote support to generate more value from an improved understanding of mineralogy.

iMin Solutions provides tools to mineral processing operations to improve profitability through better use of processing data. In doing this iMin Solutions focuses on facilitating on-site personnel to make use of data through accessible expert support. This is achieved with the use advanced technologies to enable generation, communication and analysis of data in minerals processing operations.

iMin Solutions offers products as part of an integrated Workbench that drives integration between datasets through our suite of products. The Workbench is primarily focused on facilitation of the use of mineralogical information to relate disparate datasets within the minerals processing operation. The core of the iMin Workbench is iMin (mineral), which is offered with our technology partner Zeiss microscopy.

The iMin(mineral) package provides an accessible platform for mining and minerals processing operations to establish capability for routine mineralogical analysis on-site. It utilises a model of upskilling site metallurgists in day-to-day operation of the mineralogy program and undertake basic template reporting, while remote subject matter experts routinely review data generated and undertake more advanced analysis and reporting functions. The package is offered using the Zeiss MinSCAN ruggedized SEM based automated mineralogy system, which gives us great confidence putting equipment into remote mine sites where maintenance of a standard Scanning Electron Microscope would be difficult.

The iMin(mineral) package is provided as an all-in equipment, service and data analysis program offered as a monthly fee to the operation. This allows sites to run the operational mineralogy program as an operating cost, closely integrated with their day-to-day continuous improvement and optimisation programs.

iMin(mineral) package provides opportunity for operations to build operational mineralogy capability on-site, immediate benefits include:

  • More efficient continuous improvement programs.
  • Better understanding of fundamental process drivers to improve productivity.
  • Information produced in iMin(Mineral) provides link to open advanced data analytics functions in minerals processing. Benefits will include:
    • Whole of operation performance trending
    • Link to mine plan for fully predictive forecasting.
    • Robust reconciliation with mine plan.

We are excited to finally be at a stage with the use of automated mineralogy where it is technically feasible to run a system at the mine site using operations personnel. We see this as a huge step forward in understanding key drivers, such as variability, in mineral processing plants and hope to see it become as standard as having chemical assays. It has often been said that we recover minerals, not elements and with this kind of technology now becoming available for day-to-day use it may just be that we can measure those minerals directly and reap the benefits and more targeted knowledge.




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