Mill Performance Optimisation using QEMSCAN Mineralogical Analysis


Dr Sarah Prout (Senior Mineralogist - SGS Canada Inc.), Mr Bernie Yeung (Mineralogist / Account Executive - SGS Canada Inc. )

Mineralogy is an essential tool for understanding the performance of a mill and for process optimisation. QEMSCAN (Quantitative Evaluation of Materials by Scanning Electron Microscopy) is one of the industry’s leading technologies for process mineralogy in terms of mineral identification and liberation; it can be used to document and understand the recovery of the metal carrying mineral phases, gangue phases, and penalty elements. A range of streams from the flowsheet can be analysed to monitor, troubleshoot, and conduct quality control for mineral processing operations. These products can include the majority of the process streams such as feed, various intermediate products, final tailings, and concentrates. With judicial selection of the sampling points, a mineralogical mass balance can be performed on the flowsheet pinpointing the sources of gains and losses throughout the operation. It can be carried out on a routine basis in order to benchmark performance and to provide a database on historical performance; this data may then be combined with feed mineralogy to alert the operations of future processing issues.