Geology & GeoMetallurgy

Geology & GeoMetallurgy2017-04-04T06:58:01-04:00
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Drill Core Scanner (7 replies)

4 years ago
(unknown) 4 years ago - I was contacted by this start-up the other day and wondering if anybody has been involved in any testing and could give some independent feedback

Unique Volume Instruments for Drill Core Scanning. Minalyze develop volume instruments for fast and reliable analyses of drill samples in the vicinity of the exploration or mining site. The analysis is performed by the use of X-ray fluorescence technology. The technology generates results with high.

4 years ago
(unknown) 4 years ago

Core scanning is a great tool to maximize the ROI on your drilling budgets. The tool by itself is expensive but the value of the core information database is quickly higher.

The main components of core scanning are
3D image collection and analysis, using digital cameras +/- other imaging sources. Clever image analysis can include structural analysis;
Chemical and physicochemical scanning. Various sensors, especially XRF and neutron, collect chemical information around the core and give valuable geological and mineralogical information.
Physical properties scanning,
Multichannel signal interpretation software.

There are several players manufacturing such instruments, but not so many. 

4 years ago
Oberfuhrer 4 years ago

I am quite sure in time drill core sampling will be standard technology; it is a matter of which provider provides the best service.

I have worked in Geometallurgy for a number of years and the data I am looking for is one which provides detailed mineralogical information. So resolution is a key issue as well as many other technical factors.

When such a service is available (and I could not identify if that was the case with Minanalyze) I would want to integration the drill core data with a mineral processing simulator (which I have currently developed) for the purpose of holistic mining optimization.

Helena Russell
4 years ago
Helena Russell 4 years ago

XRF scanning of core may appear to provide good data, but it must be realized that the sample size form scanning the outside of the core or the flat side of the half core is tiny as the fluorescent x-rays come from a very thin layer in the surface. As such it is a poor sample that may not correlate very well with a chemical analysis of the crushed core. In geostatistical terms, the support for the XRF sample is smaller than that for the particular length of core. From the point of view of length, the support is the same, but the support volume is effectively zero. I would expect that use of this data in geostats would induce a large nugget variance which might make the data a great deal less useful.

Scanning based on neutron methods can be expected to be much better due to the fact that one is now dealing with penetrating neutrons and relatively hard gammas that originate from the full volume of the core.

4 years ago
(unknown) 4 years ago

Incorporating mineralogy information in core scanning is a real plus, and it interfaces it with geometallurgy indeed.

However, XRD is neither easily nor reliably incorporated in scanner sensors, even if XRD signal analysis can provide useful information.

I would rather focus on high resolution chemical sensors (pXRF plus maybe LIBS?) and deduce mineralogy information (including grain size and morphology) from advanced signal processing and crossing with hi-res imaging.
Same approach as automated mineralogy from companies such as SGS?

4 years ago
Oberfuhrer 4 years ago

Yes, with respect to surface mapping. As you would understand I get quite put-off when the brochure says 3D mapping (without appropriate clarification). There were a number of other technical issues re: the brochure.

4 years ago
(unknown) 4 years ago

All, thanks for your comments. I very much agree with your cautionary comments about the point nature of the sampling, albeit if they are doing a cumulative line scan of the all the cut face, rather than a point sample, that may help with precision. However, when talking to their representative last week I indicated they need to convince the users that the results produced are acceptable and comparable to the crush, split and sub-sample assaying through the usual Pepsi challenge publications.

I had a discussion some months ago with one of the vendors of neutron activation technology regarding core analysis and the opinion is that it should be feasible as long as the mass of core was enough, perhaps at least a 3 m length of say HQ core, as a minimum mass. It will be interesting to see if somebody takes the bait as I'm sure there would be demand for such a tool in the bulk commodity industries - even if there was a subsequent requirement for traditional assaying for low concentration contaminants.

I hope to see one day something that can quickly analyse the bulk of the rock components quickly and cheaply, primarily as to help guide geological interpretation. I find geological understanding and logging is greatly enhanced greatly when assay results are available at the same time. Even the result for hand-held XRFs today is quite good for this task, albeit the local precision is usually poor.

4 years ago
(unknown) 4 years ago

The question about the thickness of investigation of pXRF is essential, and can be easily linked with the statistical meaning of the cylindric shape of a core, its splitting, and the issue of lab/pXRF correlation.

pXRF here means portable XRF sensors, rather than the handheld device - but both behave the same.
The issue of lab/pXRF correlation is a reducing approach of the quality pXRF data can provide.

Either you wish pXRF to replicate - quickly and for cheap - the analysis bulletins of your lab. In this case, you should consider on-site crushing, milling and homogenisation of core sections (or of RC cuttings) rather than core scanning. pXRF will give you a quite reasonable proxy, and even nice correlations if you carefully design your parameters.

Or you wish to use another set of data, different from your lab results but fully representative of the cored material. This can be achieved by full core scanning.

The best use of combined data is a composite log comparing signals (lab, scanner) along depth.
And you can still take critical operating decisions with the scanner, later validated by lab results.

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