"To Mill or not to Mill - that's the Question" - LIF for rock identification and quality control of raw materials ahead of processing.


By the very nature of mineral desposits the quality of the raw material generally fluctuates and should be known for optimum processing. Early classification, for example, of limestone into road-metal grade or lime grade or of run-of-mine ores into high grade, low grade and waste as well as information for dosage of reagents or for blending are prerequisite for economic processing. Non-contact, real-time and on-line rock identification or assessment of quality parameters can be realised by introducing the analysis of laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) into the mining industry. LIF analysis is an optical method evaluating the basically known photoluminescence properties of matter, however, extending the application into hitherto unimagined fields by use of high-energy pulsed lasers and time-resolved analysis of fluorescence in the ultra-violet, the visible and near-infrared domains of light. LIF analysers and test work in a limestone quarry and a cement plant in Germany as well as in an iron ore mine in Sweden are described. First results of test work are available and proof this technology to be promising.
Keywords: Rock identification, Bulk sorting, Blending, Quality control, LIF - laser-induced fluorescence