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Applied Mineralogy in the Mining Industry
by W. Petruk
Applied mineralogy in the mining industry is the application of mineralogical information to understanding and solving problems encountered during exploration, mining, beneficiation, and processing of ores and concentrates as well as smelter products hydrometallurgical residues, and related materials. This interdisciplinary science emerged in the mid 1960’s when new instruments such as electron microprobe analyzer, image analyzer, electron microscope, and others started to be introduced in the market and became available to mineralogists. By 1980 research groups were formed, e.g., Applied Mineralogy Committee within the AIME in North America and the International Congress on Applied Mineralogy in South Africa who were responsible for organizing meetings and the publication of numerous proceedings volumes. Petruk’s book seems to be the first endeavor to organize a great deal of this information in a compact, well documented (over 350 references), and well indexed form. The book also contains numerous photomicrographs of mineral polished sections, numerous Tables giving chemical and mineralogical analysis of samples, graphs, and flowsheets.
The book is composed of ten chapters. The first is a general introduction to applied mineralogy and the second about instrumentation. The subsequent chapters are devoted to special topics: massive sulfides, volcanogenic base metal deposits, mineral characteristics and flotability, gold recovery, prophyry copper deposits, processing iron ores, processing industrial minerals, and finally tailings and waste rock piles. Petruk has thus presented the vast contribution of mineralogists to the mining industry in an easily accessible monograph.
The author was a member of the Mineralogy Section at the Mines Branch known now as CANMET in Ottawa for forty years before retiring recently. The book certainly will be an important guide for those entering the field and a valuable reference work for those already in the field.
Fathi Habashi, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada
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