Laboratory Testing & General Mineral Processing Engineering

Laboratory Testing & General Mineral Processing Engineering 2017-03-23T09:50:31+00:00
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Mineral Processing Laboratory Selection (14 replies and 1 comment)

JohnnyD
1 year ago
JohnnyD 1 year ago

In your Opinion, WHO/WHAT is the Best Mineral Processing (Metallurgy) Test Laboratory? What specific test area is that Lab good and not so go at?

Bill Rico
1 year ago
Bill Rico 1 year ago

Three things come to mind: The first is that such a question needs to be structured to various sectors of mineral processing (gold, base metals, iron, rare earths, light metals, etc., and types of unit operations and processes tested from ore sorting to extractive) and the nature (new processes, bankable test results from lab or pilot plant, in-plant consulting and testwork) and aims of the testwork. Secondly, it would be interesting to know the criteria employed for "best" and thirdly, like university departments and sub-divisions, variations within the whole can exist, expertise and facilities comes and go, and multifunctional large test centres providing overall coverage of mineral processing may have high overall credibility yet have sectors that are above or somewhat below that level. For the responses to be more meaningful I think you need to elaborate and detail the question.

David Kano
1 year ago

I would love to go talk to Phil and Wolfie at Dawson Labs to get a referral of a Lab or as a Lab to use.

But you know that Great Restaurants go bad once the get big and Franchise out. FLSmidth ate Dawson Labs - It is what it used to be? ALS ate G&T -It is what it used to be?

Ace Levy
1 year ago
Ace Levy 1 year ago

I am not sufficiently knowledgeable to comment on those acquisitions, but a little more than ten years ago an already expanding Lakefield Research (employee owned, acquired formerly from Falconbridge in the mid-1990s) was sold to SGS of Geneva. Focus may have changed a little in some areas but I think that the overall effect has been very positive to the test laboratory which has expanded its facilities, capabilities and competencies since then. Perhaps change on acquisition is as much or more a part of takeovers having occurred at dedicated mining and metallurgical industry test centres (example of the Noranda laboratories in Pointe Claire) as in the service sector? That is of course a different case than service laboratories and has different dynamics.

Jean Rasczak
1 year ago
Jean Rasczak 1 year ago

I have worked with various corporate/industrial and commercial laboratories over the years. I do not have a preferred one per se.

First question: Has this facility successfully delivered previously on a program of a similar commodity, complexity, and odds to the one contemplated? Pretty much any metallurgical testing laboratory worldwide can deliver the data to support a PEA - Scoping Study. However, when recovery and/or selectivity improvements are sought and/or a Feasibility Study is the ultimate objective, then some facilities may be preferable over others.

Second question: Are the key personnel which successfully delivered the comparison program previously still with the facility? This is particularly important nowadays as essentially all companies involved in the mineral resources sector have shed employees to keep their costs in checks.

Third question: How is the relationship with the key personnel which will be assigned to the program?

Marshal Meru
1 year ago
Marshal Meru 1 year ago

SGS are a reputable and acknowledged Research and Test Laboratory.

Dizzy Flores
1 year ago
Dizzy Flores 1 year ago

Any specific reasons for areas of expertise? Not all labs are created equal. Should they have similar test equipment and general procedures? Data can be acquired by 'anyone', it is the interpretation that's paramount. What specific test area is a given Lab good or not so go at?

Carl Jenkins
1 year ago
Carl Jenkins 1 year ago

I would be very reluctant to explain the deficiencies of a particular lab. However I worked at SGS, and from that experience concluded interpretation is best done by professionals, not lab. Managers. So my opening position/question would be which labs. Encourage interpretation by external professionals; and which ones try and monopolise both.

I have not yet been able to identify ANY labs that encourage external interpretation. I tried for years to find just one. If anyone could identify just ONE lab that encourages external interpretation I would immediately write to them with various proposals.

First and foremost would be an improved flotation analysis system.

Zander Barcalow
1 year ago
Zander Barcalow 1 year ago

It depends on who is working on the project from the lab and who is supervising the work. It is the same with engineering firms.

Carmen Ibanz
1 year ago
Carmen Ibanz 1 year ago

It is not only the equipment that matters but we need trained (experienced) personnel to use the equipment and also must know why a particular test is being done..

First, is a characterisation lab; where do you stop here--with a microscope/XRD/XRF?

Then comes, whether our lab is going to do bench scale tests for gravity/heavy media/flotation/magnetic separation?

What is the ore(s) we want to test.

Are we going for semi/and or pilot plant tests.

Marshal Dienes
1 year ago
Marshal Dienes 1 year ago

Each of the above needs clarity.

If one wants to set up a testing laboratory and have global customers, then one can think differently.

If the lab is only to serve an ongoing operation the requirements would be different. Many times it is better, even preferable to out-source for some specialised tests with our basic laboratory as a basic test Lab.

Sugar Watkins
1 year ago
Sugar Watkins 1 year ago

Peacocke and Simpson laboratory are top notch on metallurgy flow-sheet design etc. very good on gravity all minerals http://www.peacockesimpson.com

After I have worked with various labs in USA, Canada and Europe, I confirm that people in place at the lab is an important factor. Also, I agree about the importance of having external professionals/ metallurgists to oversee the testworks from planning phase to realization and analysis. The interaction between the lab and a dedicated metallurgist is capital in order to get the most value out of a series of testworks.

External support will help in the testworks design phase, in order to make sure that the appropriate experiences and in the right amount are performed. In the testwork realization, metallurgist interacting with the lab can provide partial analyses and quick retroaction, validate the relevance of additional testworks and redirect the testworks scope if relevant.

At the end, the help of an external metallurgist could cost a little bit, but in the same time could bring more important savings in maximizing the testworks results value, saving worthless testing and speeding up the whole process.

I have often worked in projects where it was made clear by the client who's responsible for test planning, results interpretation and testworks realization, and I always received good cooperation from the lab people in this context.

Dizzy Flores
1 year ago
Dizzy Flores 1 year ago

Yes by having external professionals/ metallurgists to oversee the testwork you "level the field". What about data/results interpretation. Are Labs good at that?

Marshal Dienes
1 year ago
Marshal Dienes 1 year ago

It totally depends on what you are testing. Labs are specialised in certain areas based on historic business involvement. Most important is the consistency. It is e.g. easy to do a DTR test for a magnetite project and almost any lab can do this, but the truth is that you have to have historic data to compare your DTR with to make sure that it is.

Bill Rico
1 year ago
Bill Rico 1 year ago

Any laboratory gives only results of tests we get done. So depending on what we need (many times it is not clear) and why we are getting a test done and what we do with that result have to be clear.

These days there are many labs and selecting a lab is not a problem; a clarity on what is that we are aiming is important.

Sugar Watkins
1 year ago
Sugar Watkins 1 year ago

A lab is generally setup for routine work. It is not a forensic science department.

A lab should provide results of testwork and let engineers make interpretations. Rather like when you get an XRay; ultimate interpretation is via the Medical Doctor; not the radiologist.

The difference however is that some labs; have specific interpretation skills unavailable to most engineers. This is where the business scope becomes muddy and also where the labs have niche (and therefore lucrative) capability. Much depends on the discernment ability of the clients. If clients can see how to improve interpretation they may themselves wish to protect the know-how or alternatively assist the lab in improving interpretation.

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