Greg Jones, GNJ Consulting Pty Ltd: Geometallurgy for mineral sands resource and ore reserve estimation

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Information about Greg Jones, GNJ Consulting Pty Ltd: Geometallurgy for mineral sands...
Business & Mgmt

Published on March 5, 2014

Author: informaoz



Greg Jones, Principal, GNJ Consulting Pty Ltddelivered the presentation at the 2014 Mineral Sands conference.
The Annual Australian Journal Mining's Mineral Sands Conference is the key meeting place for Australia's Mineral Sands industry.

The event gives delegates the chance to hear from industry experts as they share their perspectives on the hot topics for the mineral sands industry. For more information about the event, please visit the website:

Geometallurgy for Mineral Sands: Impacts on Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve Estimation and Valuation Greg Jones Principal, GNJ Consulting Pty Ltd 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014  

Today you will gain an insight into: Why geometallurgy is important to your business Sampling and what are we looking for? What that translates to for your operation The impact on Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves and reporting How getting it right can maximise and add value to your business 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   2

Why is geometallurgy important? Allows us to predict and understand . . . Mineralogy, quality and recovery characteristics Plant and equipment selection and requirements Mining and separation performance The impact on Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve Estimation 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   3

Therefore it should be of interest to everybody in this room! (and throughout the industry) 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   4

To put it another way Can we mine it, process it and sell it at a profit? e $$ $$ 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   5

Geometallurgy for mineral sands We are dealing with deposits that . . Often have unique provenance or source . . . . . . and therefore potentially varied mineral assemblage. 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   6

Geometallurgy for mineral sands Come in a wide variety of grain sizes, shapes, rounding and sorting 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   7

Geometallurgy for mineral sands Are subject to post depositional weathering The Good The Bad The Ugly 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   8

Geometallurgy is a buzzword . . . . . but it really puts a label to what many geologists and metallurgists have been doing for years. Trying to optimise deposits for the best recovery and financial outcome in order to deliver value for shareholders and investors 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   9

How many samples? Sampling allows us to measure characteristics of a deposit Too few samples and generalisations are made Too many becomes time and cost prohibitive so the question is . . . . . . how do we find the optimal number? 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   10

What are we sampling? Sampling the right parts of the deposit is important We need to understand geological domains . . . . . . depositional history . . . . . . and post depositional features 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   11

What mining method? This could also read “ and what production rate?” Large bulk mining operations generally require less samples per tonne of HM . . . . . . smaller deposits may require more . . . . . it all depends on the deposit complexity 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   12

Blending requirements? Additionally what blending capabilities are available? Deposits can be blended in pit or at stockpiles In pit blending = adequate deposit sampling and a disciplined mine and production plan - rigid Stockpile blending = disciplined sampling, willingness to carry stockpiles at various locations - flexible 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   13

Mineral characteristics Differences in physical characteristics of HM can be exploited during processing Mineral Valuable Magnetic Susceptibility Electrical Conductivity SG Ilmenite Yes High High 4.5 - 5.0 Fe.TiO3 Rutile Yes Low High 4.2 - 4.3 TiO2 Zircon Yes Low Low 4.7 Leucoxene Yes Semi High 3.5 - 4.1 Fe.TiO3.TiO2 Monazite No Semi Low 4.9 - 5.3 (Ce,La,Th,Nd,Y)PO4 Staurolite No Semi Low 3.6 - 3.8 Fe2Al9Si4O22.(OH)2 Kyanite No Low Low 3.6 - 3.7 Al2SiO5 Garnet No Semi Low 3.4 - 4.2 (Fe,Mn,Ca)3.Al2(SiO4)3 Quartz No Low Low 2.7 Chemical Formula ZrSiO4 SiO2 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   14

Mineral characteristics Not all minerals are created alike! Ilmenite weathers which reduces magnetic susceptibility Clay and iron coatings on Zircon may impact ceramic quality Zircon and ilmenite can have inherent radionuclides that impede transport and sale to some countries Rutile can be difficult to separate from pyrite / sulphides 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   15

Mineral characteristics And different minerals perform alike! Monazite and garnet chases altered ilmenite around a dry circuit Kyanite follows zircon around a dry circuit Garnet is preferentially recovered in a wet circuit Staurolite is preferentially recovered with altered ilmenite during magnetic separation 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   16

Geometallurgical programs Most deposits are unique Relevant geometallurgical issues differ from deposit to deposit . . and there is no single template that can be used in all situations Geometallurgy programs are nearly always customised and tailored to the deposit and the mining/processing solution Systematic procedures and testing processes are essential 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   17

Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves Increased  understanding  of   geometallurgical  properEes   Understanding Figure 1 from the JORC Code (2012) 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   18

Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves Without consideration of geometallurgical characteristics . . . . . the confidence of Mineral Resources and resultant Ore Reserves must be low. It is important that everyone . . . . . . from the CEO to the resource estimator . . . . . . understand the importance of the geometallurgical signatures of your deposit. 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   19

Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves Discovery and drill out is simply the beginning Defining the geometallurgical signature is the next step This is an iterative process (as knowledge of deposit is uncovered) Issues that could be fatal flaws are critical to the success of a project Until geomet sampling is undertaken, you can’t know the issues Under the new JORC Code the ASX and ergo the public are expected to be kept fully informed (Continuous Disclosure) 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   20

Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves What impacts the most on deposit value? HM grade is still number one (too low and economics marginal) Mineralogical assemblage key value driver (price dependant and can improve a low HM grade deposit) Mineral recoveries for both wet and dry plants important (a marginal project can hinge on optimal recoveries) Deleterious chemical contaminants will determine final market (potential showstopper or might require blending) 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   21

To summarise . . . Geomet sampling is determined by deposit characteristics and in turn by operational requirements Geomet programs are often unique - there is no “one size fits all” Sampling and investigation of geomet signatures unlocks maximum value from your project Getting a handle on the critical geomet signatures for your project can make the difference and therefore . . . 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   22

Geometallurgy is important to your mineral sands business 14th  Annual  AJM  Mineral  Sands  Conference  |  Rydges  Hotel,  Melbourne  |  4  -­‐  5  March  2014   23

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