Online analysis of minerals from sulfide ore using near‐infrared Raman spectroscopy

Sanna Uusitalo (Corresponding Author), Tuomas Soudunsaari, Juha Sumen, Olli Haavisto, Jani Kaartinen, Jarmo Huuskonen, Aki Tuikka, Katariina Rahkamaa-Tolonen, Janne Paaso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Efficient recovery of minerals from bedrock ore requires precise knowledge of the mineral levels during enrichment processes. Froth flotation is a commonly used method for efficient separation of different minerals from finely grinded sulfide ore. The mineral level information is an important tool for the optimization of flotation process parameters as it is uneconomical to make mineral products with unacceptably low concentrations and to lose a share of the valuable minerals of the ore to the tailings. Online mineral control is commonly executed with X‐ray fluorescence detection or laser‐induced breakdown spectroscopy, which detect the elements of the minerals during flotation. Unfortunately, in case of sulfide ores, the method suffers from inadequate detection of lightweight materials such as sulfur and the common nature of iron, as iron is constantly present in several different minerals found in sulfide ores. Raman spectroscopy can be used to detect the minerals instead of mere elements of ore. This paper presents the study of Raman spectroscopy for online detection of enriched sulfide ore minerals from froth flotation. The Raman instrument with a custom‐made probe connector allowed for the recording of good quality Raman spectra during froth flotation and for the identification and analysis of the valuable minerals levels. The comparison of Raman analysis to online X‐ray fluorescence and offline mineral liberation analysis show that Raman spectroscopy is a suitable method for the online analysis of sulfide ores.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)978-988
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Raman Spectroscopy
Volume51
Issue number6
Early online date25 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • analysis
  • beneficiation
  • online
  • ore
  • sulfide

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