Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology

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  • ISSN
    1474-9009

Publications in this journal

  • Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology 12/2014; 123(4):183-192.
  • Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In order to develop downstream processing routines for iron ore and to understand the behaviour of the ore during processing, extensive mineralogical characterisation is required. Microscopic analysis of polished sections is effective to determine mineral associations, mineral liberation and grain size distribution. There are two main imaging techniques used for the characterisation of iron ore, i.e. optical image analysis (OIA) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In this article, a QEMSCAN system is used as an example of SEM methodology and results obtained from it are compared against results obtained by the CSIRO Recognition3/Mineral3 OIA system. Both OIA and SEM systems have advantages and drawbacks. Even though the latest SEM systems can distinguish between major iron oxides and oxyhydroxides, it is still problematic for SEM systems to distinguish between iron oreminerals very close in oxygen content, e.g. hematite and hydrohematite, or between different types of goethite. Scanning electron microscopy systems also can misidentify minerals with close chemical composition, i.e. hematite as magnetite and vitreous goethite as hematite. In OIA, iron minerals with slight differences in their oxidation or hydration state are more easily and directly recognisable by correlation with their reflectivity. In bothmethods, the presence of microporosity can result in some misidentification, but in SEM methods misidentifications due to microporosity can be critical. Low resolution during QEMSCAN analysis can significantly affect the textural classification of particle sections. The main conclusion of this study is that, for low iron content ores or tailings, SEM systems can provide much more detailed information on the gangue minerals than OIA. However, for routine characterisation of iron ores with high iron content and containing a variety of iron oxides and oxyhydroxides, OIA is a faster, more cost effective and more reliable method of iron ore characterisation. A combined approach using both techniques will provide the most detailed understanding of iron ore samples being characterised.
    Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology 03/2014; 122(4):217-229.
  • Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology 03/2014; 123(1):56-57.
  • Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology 09/2013; 122(3):159-165.
  • Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology 06/2013; 122(2):101-109.
  • Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology 03/2013; 122(1):33-45.
  • Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology 03/2013; 122(1):53-61.
  • Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology 06/2012; 121(2):97-108.
  • Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology 09/2011; 120(3):158-169.
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    ABSTRACT: At Cliffs Natural Resources Ltd (CNR) crushing and shipping sample stations, precisions are estimated for the sampling, preparation and measurement stages of iron ore sampling in accordance with ISO 3085 (2002). In this standard, gross duplicate samples are prepared at each of the three stages, yielding eight measurement assays. Appropriate calculations of the differences between assay pairs are then made to estimate precision of each stage of sampling. The international standard for checking precision in iron ore sampling, ISO 3085 (2002), prescribes a method for identifying outliers that is ambiguous and possibly inappropriate. The procedure also makes an unnecessary implicit assumption, that the differences between assay pairs are normally distributed. The Anderson?Darling statistic is used to demonstrate that in some cases the assay pair differences have distributions significantly different from normal. When applied at CNR as specified, the standard leads to precision estimates well below the expected values, thus overestimating the sampling method’s capability and limiting the opportunity for real process improvement. This paper suggests an improved method of estimating sampling, preparation and measurement precision. A bootstrap procedure is used to estimate confidence limits for the calculated precision estimates. The proposed method would be suitable for testing blast hole precision. The discussion is supported by extensive simulation modelling of realistic data.
    Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology 05/2011; 120(2):65-73.
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    ABSTRACT: The Macquarie dictionary defines ‘compliance’ as ‘1. An act of conforming; acquiescing, or yielding. 2. base subservience.’. Does environmental compliance mean yielding to environmental forces, or does it mean being subservient to a human perception of the environment? How ‘environmental compliance’ may be defined by the various stakeholders in the mining industry, companies, governments and communities is considered in the light of their possible objectives in requiring ‘environmental compliance’. Examples of potentially conflicting environmental requirements in waste management are considered, particularly operational requirements such as minimal dust generation versus completion environmental compliance requirements of establishing a self-sustaining ecosystem or geomorphologically stable landform. Mechanisms available to establish standards for determining if environmental compliance has been attained are described. These include guidelines (company and government), which can range from detailed (tailings construction) to broad and general (closure strategies); codes of practice, ministerial conditions and regulations are discussed. Some of the strengths and weaknesses these mechanisms are described, using examples from industry experience. The site specific nature of most mine waste management operations means that one approach cannot fit all situations and the fairness of having a solution acceptable in one operation, but not in another is discussed. Does strict compliance with a human perception of the environment and how it functions promote a ‘lowest common denominator’ approach? The potential technology restricting aspects of requiring ‘compliance’ is discussed and the alternative compliance requirements of ‘outcome’ compliance and ‘process’ compliance considered. The time frame for assessing environmental compliance is discussed. The potential use of simulation models as potential tools for assessing future environmental performance is considered. Moreover, it is concluded that ‘environmental compliance’ means conforming to the environment rather than simply acquiescing or yielding to man-made ‘rules’.
    Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology 05/2011; 120(2):118-123.
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    ABSTRACT: A better understanding of the detonation performance of an explosive charge can be gained by directly measuring pressure, temperature and velocity of detonation (VOD). This is particularly important with explosives used in the mining industry because their performance is directly influenced by the degree of confinement given by the borehole diameter and the surrounding rock mass. A project funded by the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP) was initiated in early 2009 with the view to design and build cost effective prototype instrumentation to measure the relative differences in detonation pressures and temperatures of commercial mining explosives. The project’s primary focus was on low density explosives. Low density (also referred to as low shock) explosives have been available in various forms for nearly 20 years. There have been significant advances in the availability, reliability and flexibility of these explosives which now offer a range of densities and degrees of water resistance. Their detonation performance is not well understood and cannot be accurately predicted with current ideal and non-ideal detonation codes. It was therefore viewed as important to be able to directly measure pressure and temperature during the detonation process of these complex mixtures in production blastholes. Identifying the pressure release patterns of both conventional and low density explosives under different geotechnical conditions should provide the necessary information to both validate detonation codes and better define input parameters for breakage and fragmentation models. This paper gives a general description of the prototype instrumentation developed and reports on the results obtained to date in both laboratory and full scale conditions.
    Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology 05/2011; 120(2):74-79.