The sample developments are separated from the analytical sections to ensure no cross contamination takes place.
The sample development section is equipped with the latest technology of process mining, concentrator, and downstream processing plant requirements.
The equipment include:-
- A specialist drilling machine to extract a representative sample from the copper bars.
- The pulverisers
- A jaw crusher, cone crushers
- Moisture analysis via gravimetric , high efficiency ovens
- Size determinations via wet screening.
- Rod preparation equipment.
- Malvern mastersizer
1. Sample DryingSamples are typically dried at 105°C to 110°C, some at 150°C which ensures the concentrations of the analyses in the samples are normalised to an international geochemical standard prior to analysis. This temperature ensures the retention of crystalline or inherent moisture (H2O+) from almost all mineral phases, and the complete loss of hygroscopic moisture (H2O-).
2. Sample DevelopmentSamples from the various production streams are sent through to the laboratory for analysis. This varies from moisture, PSD analysis to specific chemical analysis.
The sample preparation and development section ensures the samples are prepared according to approved protocols.
The samples are crushed via jaw crushers, milled to a 100% passing 75um in the pulverisers, and split in rotary splitters.
The milling and pulverising processes are to ensure that the sample is homogenous in nature so as to produce a true analytical result.
Samples that are processed include, feed samples from the run of mine, and concentrate (Cu), magnetite samples, copper process (anode and blister copper) and final product (copper rod) samples.
The process has to be very meticulous managed, so as to meet the turnaround time.
The laboratory is segmented into three main functional areas:-
- The sample development department - all product and process concentrate samples.
- Analytical Services Department- determining of primary, secondary elemental analysis, plus trace elemental analysis, including fire assay.
- Research And Development - expanding the laboratory functions to meet supplier and customer requirements.