Elemental analysis : The cure-all solution to more efficient base metal mining

Have you met Doctor Copper? With a Ph.D. in economics, he’s famous for his ability to predict the health of the global economy! If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because Doctor Copper isn’t really a person – he’s a concept. The idea is that, because copper is so fundamental to a range of global industries, its price indicates overall economic well-being.

Copper, zinc, nickel, and lead are the base metals that build our world. While they don’t quite have the glamour of precious metals, like gold, silver, and platinum, base metals underpin our global economy. They’re utilized in a range of industries, including telecommunications, transport, and construction. With such a fundamental role in our day-to-day lives and the health of our markets, we must mine these metals in the most time-, cost-, and energy-efficient way possible.

The growing need for cleaner, greener mining

In recent years, there has been increasing global attention on the environmental impact of mining. Many mining companies are on ongoing missions to improve their operational efficiencies. A key focus of these efforts is elemental analysis, which allows operators to better match their use of resources, such as water, energy, and chemicals, to the ores they process.

In many stages during mining processing, such as electrowinning, conventional elemental analysis remains time-consuming, inefficient, and costly. Why? Because most sites still rely on liquid analysis with titration. Measured every four hours, this analysis generates limited, user-dependent data points that make process control inefficient. The infrequency of the monitoring also means that the electrolysis bath lacks stability. And all this means lost time, energy, and money.

Meeting the demand for more efficient elemental analysis

But we have the solution! The Epsilon XFlow is an online analyzer that provides insights into hydrometallurgy, leaching, electroplating, and wastewater processes. Using energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) technology, this system produces continuous, real-time elemental analysis in liquid processes. In this way, it lets you change process conditions immediately to ensure efficient production and optimum product quality.

And that’s not all. Thanks to the latest flowcell technology, Epsilon XFlow can also produce highly repeatable results, both short- and long-term. This means that accuracy levels remain high, even when carrying out fast, simultaneous multi-element analysis. Plus, the system has a proven user interface for easy operation and maintenance, remote service and support options, and is chemically resistant to a wide range of liquids. This is essential when using the kinds of high-acidity liquids needed in base metal extraction processes.

Industry-leading solutions for elemental analysis

The Epsilon XFlow is a complete solution for making liquid analysis in mining safer, faster, and more cost-efficient. But we don’t stop there. At Malvern Panalytical, we offer a range of other analytical solutions for base metals mining, including our ASD QualitySpec 7000 Process Spectrometer. This system is designed for the continuous measurement of solids, powders, and blended materials – with the potential to save mining companies hundreds of thousands of dollars. Malvern Panalytical is helping to lead the way to a cleaner and more sustainable future for base metal production. And with solutions so smart, not even Doctor Copper could have thought of them!

 

Written by: Uwe Konig , Posted by: Malvern Panalytical (www.materials-talks.com)

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