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Processing Metals & Minerals

To separate metals and minerals from waste rock, or gangue, crude ore must be processed. Mineral processing involves four key steps: sampling and analysis, comminution, concentration, and dewatering.

Sampling and analysis provides an accurate representation of the entire material. To do this, a sample is chemically, mineralogically, and size analysed.

Comminution involves crushing and grinding to liberate valuable minerals from the ore. Concentration further separates the valuable minerals via optical, gravity, flotation, magnetic, or electrostatic separation methods.

Finally, dewatering removes absorbed water from the particles. This increases pulp density, making it more transportable and the waste rock more disposable.

Key fact: GHG emissions from primary mineral production equaled approximately 10% of total global energy-related GHG emissions in 2018

Mineral processing produces large amounts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To reduce this environmental impact, processing plants are embracing technologies that focus on energy optimisation.

AI-powered software provides high-quality data that identifies areas of optimisation and reduces energy consumption. Meanwhile, Solar Energy Systems (SES) are providing renewable energy alternatives to fossil fuels. Another key player is predictive maintenance, which ensures equipment runs efficiently by identifying issues before they escalate.

Benefits

  • Minerals can be processed responsibly

  • Production is maximised

  • Maintenance costs are reduced

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