Sampling and Analysis Solutions for Mine Grade Control by Ima Engineering


IMA Smart Mining Solutions cover a wide variety of mine applications ranging from mine grade control include sampling and analysis tools for drill cores, blasthole and R/C drill cuttings, ore on conveyor belts and in mineral slurries to ore tracking.

IMA smart sensors provide wireless data from all these stages into mine planning systems either in the Cloud or into a central hub where all the Geo-metallurgical data is combined and processed.

The data is used for homogenizing the ore, separating different ore types, and separating ore and waste before they enter the grinding process and concentrator. This leads to reduced dilution, ore losses and more stable mill feed. The benefits include lower mining costs, better metal recovery in concentrate and increased metal production in concentrate.

IMA smart grade control solutions which enable ore and waste separation before the energy intensive grinding and minerals processing processes, have a significant environmental impact, reducing energy consumption in mining and processing as well as decreasing the mine carbon footprint.

Moreover, IMA Smart Mining Solutions will reduce mine acid rock drainage separating sulfur bearing waste rock from clean waste rock and reduce the number of tailings by separating waste rock from mill feed. The IMA Sampling and Analysis tools will take the sampling personnel out of the blasting benches harm’s by enabling sampling at autonomous drills.

IMA Smart Mining solutions and applications available today:

IMA Mobile laboratory for drill core analysis.

IMA Scanmobile is a mobile lab built in a utility truck (van) for analyzing elements minerals and rock quality from drill cores on tray. The analysis results such as elemental composition, minerals and RQD-value are reported via the remote logging web browser; Remolog™.

IMA Mobile Drill Core Laboratory

IMA Autosampler for physical drill chip sampling

The IMA Autosampler is operated from the drill cabin. It automates sampling, sample splitting and sample bag change process. The system includes a new, highly accurate cone-type sample splitter and an innovative sample collection system which preserves the geological structure in the sample bag for detailed ore and waste border recognition as well as visual chips logging.

IMA Autosampler on a bench drill

 IMA Blasthole and R/C drill cuttings Sampling – IMA Sampler-Analyzer Robots

IMA drill-integrated Blasthole Sampler-Analyzers collect samples and analyze drill cuttings while drilling, providing dense data from production and R/C holes. The data is delivered in real-time to the mine office to make accurate 3D mine maps of the blast benches. The fully automatic IMA sampling and analysis robots can be integrated on any manufacture’s drill rig. The IMA Sampler-Analyzers enable autonomous drilling by removing sampling personnel from the blast benches. The IMA Sampler-Analyzers combine Analyze While Drilling (AWD) and Measure While Drilling (MWD) data to provide a combination of accurate elemental analysis data and rock/ore hardness data i.e., drilling, blasting, crushing, and grinding characteristics of the rock combined with ore and waste rock location coordinates.

IMA drill-integrated Blasthole Sampler-Analyzers DTH and rotary drills

IMA Drill Cuttings Cone sampling – IMA Scan Van for fast and representative analysis

IMA Sampler-Analyzers mounted in a Van or utility truck move between drilled drill cuttings cones and analyzes them extremely fast. Samples are taken from the cones with IMA Sampler Belt directly into on-line analysis. Alternatively, samples can be taken into the sample bucket and poured into the sample Hopper.

No sample splitting or sample handling is needed in this simple operation. One cone can be sampled and analyzed just in a few minutes and a blasting bench can be sampled one shift before charging. This new method is an economic way to get cuttings analyzed while only a minimum number of verification samples are needed to be sent to a laboratory for periodical analysis quality control. Drill chips are analyzed directly from the cones as they are.

IMA drill cuttings cone analyzer

IMA Belt and Slurry analyzers verify the grade control results.

IMA belt analyzers analyze the ore on the conveyor belt, typically after primary crushing, before the ore and waste rock is mixed in intermediate stockpiles. The IMA belt sensor, analyzes the elemental composition of the material on the conveyor continuously providing the average grade of the material every 10 to 30 seconds. The short analysis time reveals the real ore grade and waste rock on the belt providing mine grade control feedback for improving the quality of mining. Furthermore, the IMA belt analyzer located on top of the belt and a sorting chute located in the end of the conveyor enable Bulk Ore Sorting, separating the ore from waste rock with high accuracy and capacity.

IMA Bulk Ore Sorting System separating ore and waste rock

When the ore gets to the concentrator, the grinded ore is again analyzed, and the recovery process is optimized with the help of IMA Slurry Sampling and Analysis Solutions.

IMA Ore Trackers

IMA also provides Sensor and RF ID tag-based ore analysis and tracking solutions. The tags can be put in blasthole stemming’s muck piles or stopes so ore can be accurately followed from blastholes to concentrators.

By combining all the above applications and their data i.e., drill core, drill cuttings, belt and slurry sampling and analysis and ore tracking, IMA Smart Mining Tools provide the most comprehensive grade control solution for the mining industry.

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