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Use of X-ray Micro-computed Tomography (µCT) for 3-D Ore Characterization: A Turning Point in Process Mineralogy
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering. (Mineralteknik)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8693-1054
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5228-3888
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering.
2019 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, automated mineralogy has become an essential enabling technology in the field of process mineralogy, allowing better understanding between mineralogy and the beneficiation process. Recent developments in X-ray micro-computed tomography (μCT) as a non-destructive technique have indicated great potential to become the next automated mineralogy technique. μCT’s main advantage lies in its ability to allow 3-D monitoring of internal structure of the ore at resolutions down to a few hundred nanometers, thereby eliminating the stereological error encountered in conventional 2-D analysis. Driven by the technological and computational progress, the technique is continuously developing as an analysis tool in ore characterization and subsequently it foreseen thatμCT will become an indispensable technique in the field of process mineralogy. Although several software tools have been developed for processing μCT dataset, but the main challenge in μCT data analysis remains in the mineralogical analysis, where μCT data often lacks contrast between mineral phases, making segmentation difficult. In this paper, an overview of some current applications of μCT in ore characterization is reviewed, alongside with it potential implications to process mineralogy. It also describes the current limitations of its application and concludes with outlook on the future development of 3-D ore characterization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. p. 1044-1054
Keywords [en]
X-ray micro-tomography (µCT), process mineralogy, ore characterization
National Category
Metallurgy and Metallic Materials
Research subject
Mineral Processing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-73716OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-73716DiVA, id: diva2:1306121
Conference
26th International Mining Congress and Exhibition (IMCET 2019), Antalya, April 16-19, 2019
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020Available from: 2019-04-23 Created: 2019-04-23 Last updated: 2019-10-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. X-ray microcomputed tomography (µCT) as a potential tool in Geometallurgy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>X-ray microcomputed tomography (µCT) as a potential tool in Geometallurgy
2019 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, automated mineralogy has become an essential tool in geometallurgy. Automated mineralogical tools allow the acquisition of mineralogical and liberation data of ore particles in a sample. These particle data can then be used further for particle-based mineral processing simulation in the context of geometallurgy. However, most automated mineralogical tools currently in application are based on two-dimensional (2D) microscopy analysis, which are subject to stereological error when analyzing three-dimensional(3D) object such as ore particles. Recent advancements in X-ray microcomputed tomography (µCT) have indicated great potential of such system to be the next automated mineralogical tool. µCT's main advantage lies on its ability in monitoring 3D internal structure of the ore at resolutions down to few microns, eliminating stereological error obtained from 2D analysis. Aided with the continuous developments of computing capability of 3D data, it is only the question of time that µCT system becomes an interesting alternative in automated mineralogy system.

This study aims to evaluate the potential of implementing µCT as an automated mineralogical tool in the context of geometallurgy. First, a brief introduction about the role of automated mineralogy in geometallurgy is presented. Then, the development of µCT system to become an automated mineralogical tool in the context of geometallurgy andprocess mineralogy is discussed (Paper 1). The discussion also reviews the available data analysis methods in extracting ore properties (size, mineralogy, texture) from the 3D µCT image (Paper 2). Based on the review, it was found that the main challenge inperforming µCT analysis of ore samples is the difficulties associated to the segmentation of the mineral phases in the dataset. This challenge is adressed through the implementation of machine learning techniques using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) data as a reference to differentiate the mineral phases in the µCT dataset (Paper 3).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2019. p. 74
Series
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
Keywords
X-ray microcomputed tomography, geometallurgy, automated mineralogy, ore characterization
National Category
Mineral and Mine Engineering Metallurgy and Metallic Materials
Research subject
Mineral Processing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-76576 (URN)978-91-7790-492-2 (ISBN)978-91-7790-493-9 (ISBN)
Presentation
2019-12-13, F531, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 722677
Available from: 2019-10-30 Created: 2019-10-30 Last updated: 2019-11-27Bibliographically approved

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