An Automated Analyser for Mine Geological Sample - Operational Performance

Dekker D, ; Ellis W, ; Dennis R, ; Ryan A, ; Sowerby B,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1993
An automated facility for non-destructive elemental analysis of mine samples has been developed and tested at Mount Isa in association with the CSIRO. The analysis is based on the prompt and delayed measurement of gamma radiation emitted by the sample during and after separate fast and thermal neutron irradiation. No sub-sampling or sample preparation is required and the analyser is operated by one person that would otherwise be splitting drill core in preparation for conventional analysis. The analyser has been calibrated to measure the following (precision in parenthesis): Ag (14 ppm), Pb (0.5 wt%), Zn (0.5 wt%), Cu (0.04 wt%), Fe (0.7 wt%), S (1.1 wt%), SiO2 (0.8 wt%), A1203 (0.07 wt%), Mn (0.05 wt%), specific gravity (0.02 g cmt). Crushed or whole drill core samples that range in size between 0.5 m and 1.8 m of equivalent BQ size drill core can be analysed at a rate of six samples per hour. If required, drill core samples can be re-packed in their original configuration for storage following analysis. Standard samples are measured every day to ensure operational stability. The analyser is controlled by a personal computer which prints the results and stores them along with the raw data on the computer hard disk. This paper reports the performance of the analyser during 1992 for routine analysis of drill core from the lead ore bodies of both Mount Isa and Hilton mines.
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