Automated Location of Gold in Samples from Australian Concentrators

Sparrow G J,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1992
In a recently completed AMIRA project, 20 samples were searched for gold mineralisation using the automated location facility (ALF) for rare phases on a scanning electron microscope in the CSIRO Division of Mineral Products, Melbourne. The samples were submitted by mining companies in Australia, and Papua New Guinea, and included crushed ore samples, cyclone overflow and underflow products, a flotation concentrate, and 12 tailing samples. Their gold contents ranged from 600 to 0.2 g/t An. Native gold and gold minerals including a gold telluride, gold-silver tellurides, and a gold bismuth mineral, were located in the samples as free grains and associated with other minerals such as pyrite, magnetite, hematite, ankerite, copper sulphides, silicate minerals, and quartz. In the highest grade samples, both micron sized and 200 ¦m grains of gold were found with ALF. It would be difficult to locate such d wide size range of gold in a manual search. Gold mineralisation was located in the tailing samples assaying 0.4 g/t An and higher. In several tailing samples coarse grains of native gold over 40 p.m in size were located. One grain was estimated to have contributed 40 per cent of the gold in the sample. As well as locating gold mineralisation, the ALF examination resulted in the identification of uranium, mercury, and bismuth minerals in the samples. Knowledge of the distribution of these minerals in processing streams could be important in the operation of a concentrator.
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