Mining Industry

Analysis of the chemical and mineral composition of rocks and ores

General-Purpose X-ray diffractometer DRON-7(M) and DRON-8

X-ray diffractometers DRON-7 and DRON-8 are efficiently used for qualitative and quantitative analysis of mineral compositions of ores and surrounding rocks, as well as in mineral processing, and for control of mining tailings.

The Chemistry of Coal.

X-ray fluorescence energy dispersive general purpose spectrometer BRA-135F

Coal is the main fuel to produce electricity and to cast iron. World coal consumption and production is more than 9 billion tones. That’s why chemical composition of coals is important for both from an environment point of view and contamination of melted metal with harmful impurities. In order to determine ultimate composition of coals, 3 (three) methods are applied: chemical analysis (arbitrary but the most difficult analysis), atomic emission spectroscopy with inductively coupled plasma and X-ray spectroscopic analysis. All these methods give an opportunity to define 13 oxides: SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3, CaO, MgO, Na2O, K2O, P2O5, TiO2, MnO2, SrO, BaO and SO3. The first stage of all methods is a sample preparation – oxidation of coal under analysis. Thereafter, ash dissolving is required for arbitrary analysis and atomic emission spectroscopy; for melting of ash with borax flux – for X-ray spectroscopic analysis.

Methods produce results equal within repeatability and reproducibility; arbitrary analysis of any elements provides for better results.

Coal composition includes sulphur as sulphur of organic compounds, pyrites sulphur and sulphate sulphur. Due to microabsorption effect reliable determination of total sulphur by means of XRF analysis is possible in individual objects only.

Carbon electrodes used as anodes during aluminium smelting include oil coke annealed up to 1200 – 1300 OC for the desulfurization. Content of sulphur and some other elements is determined by means of X-ray spectroscopic analysis.

Codes provide for control of composition of coal ash and coke by means of atomic emission spectroscopy and X-ray spectroscopic analysis.

Determination of Germanium in Ash of Coals

X-ray fluorescence energy dispersive general purpose spectrometer BRA-135F

Germanium is a less-common element percentage abundance of which is 1.510-4%. However, content of Ge in ash of hard coals is within the range of 0.001 – 1%, that allows to use coal ash of some deposits for extraction of germanium. In order to determine content of germanium in coals it is recommended to use photocolorimetry with oxidation of coals to prepare samples followed by ash dissolving and separation of interfering elements. Energy dispersive spectrometer BRA-18 of Bourevestnik, Inc. (earlier model of BRA-135) demonstrated the possibility of reliable determination of germanium in coal ash by means of XRF analysis.

Detection of uranium and new nuclear fuel - thorium

Specialized X-ray wavelength dispersive analyzer ARF-7

The main application of ARF-7 Analyzer – detection of uranium and new nuclear fuel – thorium in rocks, ores and process products over a wide concentration range from 10-4 % and higher. Fig. 2 shows a design spectrum of uranium and elements closed to analytical line of uranium (13.618 keV), lines – Rb Кα (13.375 keV) and Sr Кα (14.145 keV) with energy resolution from 40 to 180 eV. It should be noted that resolution of wavelength-dispersive spectrometers as per Soller and Johansson in the first order is about 180 eV in this area of spectrum. Resolution of the best energy dispersive instruments is of the same order. Taking into account that percentage abundance of Rb and Sr in hundred times exceeds percentage abundance of uranium (0.0003%), the advantage of ARF-7 to determine low content of U is clear.

Currently, the procedure for determination of uranium within concentration range of 0.0001 – 10%, based on standard-background method [82] is developed and approved by VIMS Research Institute especially for ARF-7. Noncoherent scattered radiation intensity of X-ray tube molybdenum with Mo anode is used as a background. Fig. 3 and 4 shows calibration results as per standard samples of uranium and thorium ores.

According to the figure, the applied procedure provides for positive determination of uranium within the concentration from 0.0001% and higher. Analogous results were obtained for thorium.

Table contains results of accuracy and repeatability of uranium detection in samples of enterprises by means of ARF-7 analyzer within content range from 3 to 200 g/t in case of multiple measurements by different operators during 2 months. Obtained results demonstrate stability of the instrument operation and adequacy of developed procedure.

Evaluation of accuracy and repeatability of ARF-7 operation during 2 months.
СОП 7-111919.
СОП 6-112120.
СОП 8-113435.
СОП 12-119696.70.724.01.711.524
СОП 13-11118118.90.921.22.210.626
СОП 14-11180182.32.332.44.716.225
СОП 38-84200198.4-1.636.04.118.025

СО – Standard sample 
CA< – Certified concentration, g/t 
СR – Measured concentration (average value), g/t 
ΔC – Analysis accuracy (ΔC=СR – CA), g/t 
ПТ – procedure accuracy factor (error range at Р=0.95), g/t 
ВА – analysis repeatability (root-mean-square deviation σCR), g/t 
ПВ – procedure repeatability factor (error range at Р=0.95), g/t 
n – number of measurements

Analysis of Ores of Rare Elements

Specialized X-ray wavelength dispersive analyzer ARF-7

Except uranium and thorium ARF-7 instrument could be applied to analyse rocks for rare and trace elements detection. Table 7 showing analyzer’s capabilities contains wavelength l (А), energy Е(keV), Bragg angles q (degrees), instrument half-width D1/2 (eV) of analytical lines Re, W and Ta and limits of detection of С0 (g/t) in filler with effective atomic number 11.5 without any interfering elements. The main interfering lines and distance to them DЕ (eV) are given hereto.

During calculation of limits of detection exposure time of 100 s is supposed with usage of X-ray tube with Мо or, in particular cases, with Ag anode in mode of 50 kV/3 kW.

Conditions of Au, Re, W and Ta determination in rocks and ores by means of ARF-7 analyzer
Lineλ (А)Е(keV)θ (deg.)Δ1/2 (eV)С0 (ppm)Interfering lines, 
ΔЕ (eV)
Au Lβ11.083511.4429.33432.7WLγ1 
Re Lβ11.238610.01010.68394.0HgLα1 
W Lβ11.28169.672411.05385.0Au Lα1 
Ta Lβ11.32709.34311.45367.9BiLl 

Au Lα11.27649.71311.01383.4WLβ3 
Re Lα11.43298.652512.3735WLη 
W Lα11.47648.397512.76349.0NiKβ5 
Ta Lα11.52208.146113.163415NiKβ1 

As it appears from Table high resolution of analyzer enables elimination of lines aliasing of many interfering elements. In case of absence of interfering elements detection limits for aurum, tantalum, tungsten and rhenium are some g/t. These values may be substantially reduced with increasing exposure time, selection of optimal thickness of primary radiation filter and width of receiving slit.

Taking into account the abundance of interfering elements, distance to their lines and intensity of these lines, Lb1 lines can serve as optimal analytical lines for Au, Re, W and Ta.

Analysis of the chemical and mineral composition of the intermediate products at various stages of the process

X-ray wavelength dispersive flowstream pulp analyzer AR-35

The main application of analyzer AR-35 for analysis of pulps and solutions is the following:

  • automated systems of analytical monitoring and automated process control systems of flotation plants of non-ferrous metal polymetallic ore mining and processing enterprises (Fe-Cu-Zn-Pb, Fe-Ni-Co-Ni, Cu-Mo, Mo-W with difficult and branched flotation circuits);
  • hydrometallurgical limits of extraction and refining non-ferrous, rare and trace elements (Co, Ni, In, Tl, Sc, Y, rare-earth elements, Nb, Ta, Mo, W, Re, U).