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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Platinum Group Metals: Latest News: October 17th 2003

:: Robolab Boosts Process Control  

Anglo American Platinum Corp. has installed its second fully-automated robot laboratory (Robolab). The laboratory is located at the new Modikwa platinum concentrator and is designed to provide platinum, palladium and rhodium concentrations within 90 minutes of samples being taken from up to 12 separate slurry streams. According Platinum’s Catalyst newsletter, the Robolab features automated slurry sampling, fast microwave drying, a patented fast in-line fire assay fusion process and a spark optical emission spectrometer, which Anglo Platinum says surpass the performance of traditional analytical methods.

As a result of the Robolab Anglo Platinum says that it is now possible for real-time concentrator process adjustments to be made which reduces the time to recover from any deviations from normal operations. According to Derek Auer, the head of analytical technology research at the Anglo Platinum Research Centre, “the next generation of processes, on the drawing board, at various pilot plant stages, or under construction, will rely on, if not demand, real-time analytical measurements for process control to ensure optimum operating efficiencies”. He added that “analytical technology is today more strongly connected with economic success within Anglo Platinum than ever before”. “As has happened with on-line XRF (X-ray fluorescence) process analysers, we expect that robot laboratories will proliferate within group operations in the not too distant future."



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