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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X


SHAMAILA, S et al. Development of a prototype X-ray transmission washability monitor. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2012, vol.112, n.3, pp.179-184. ISSN 2411-9717.

The design and efficient operation of density-based mineral processing units requires regular densimetric analysis to be carried out on the various associated process streams. The results obtained from such analyses can have wide application, including the generation of washability and partition curves, which are critical for process design, control, and simulation. This paper describes some of the collaborative efforts that Kumba Iron Ore, in partnership with Springer New Technology and Anglo Technical Solutions Research, is pursuing in developing a novel density determination technique exploiting X-ray transmission (XRT) and optical imaging. This technique is being developed with the aim to determine sample density distributions that apply to washability characterisation of ores. This technique is aimed to be an alternative to the traditional sink and float method. For certain applications sink and float has required the use of tetrabromoethane (TBE) solution-a chemical that has been classified as harmful and environmentally unfriendly. This paper therefore presents some achievements in developing this novel technique which seems to be very promising.

Keywords : iron ore; density; X-ray transmission; washability; optical imaging; size.

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