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Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter
University of Exeter, Camborne School of Mines, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK
Publication date: 2015-03-25
Corresponding author
Shekwonyadu Iyakwari   

Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, University of Exeter, Camborne School of MInes,, Tremough, Penryn Campus, Tr10 9FE Penryn, United Kingdom
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2015;51(2):661-674
The main goal of near infrared application in the mineral processing operation is to accurately classify the composition of individual spectrum obtained in a scan relating to an ore composition based on their values into two or more fractions. This is complicated by the fact that most spectra are a reflection of a complex mixture of a number of minerals. Hence, a number of minerals could exist within the range in varying compositions, arrangements among other modes of occurrence. In order to develop an efficient sensor-based sorting process, the determination of the ‘point of dominance’ of individual minerals, and the ratio at which spectral mixing is reached, is important. This paper predicts qualitatively and quantitatively the near infrared activity of individual minerals in simple and complex mineral associations, using intimate mixtures of common alteration minerals found in copper ore at various ratios of concentration by mass. It is found that spectra dominance in most cases is dependent on any or a combination of mineral composition, relative proportion or concentration and or mineral accessibility or sensitivity to near infrared radiation. Analysis of results also indicates that, in most cases, only freely occurring waste, such as clays (kaolinite, and or muscovite) and calcite, can be targeted for discrimination. A strategy is developed for the application of NIR for preconcentration of copper from coarse ore particles. Other applications also considered in this paper include preconcentration of hematite from associated clays and carbonate waste, and the determination of moisture content in kaolinitic clays.
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