Thursday, 11 July 2019

Process mineralogy of unconventional mineral deposits

Process mineralogy is now well established in the minerals industry, being used to solve problems and challenges in the mineral processing plant and contribute to increased value of ore concentrates produced. However, how can process mineralogy be used on unconventional mineral deposits?
This is the question that will be posed by Dr Kurt Aasly, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in his keynote lecture at next year's Process Mineralogy '20 conference in Cape Town.
Dr. Aasly describes “unconventional mineral deposits” as non-metallic industrial mineral deposits and construction materials, but also metallic deposits in the deep sea, which includes sea floor massive sulphides deposits and polymetallic manganese nodules.
The presentation will include case studies and emphasise important parameters for different deposit types that should be included when studying mineral deposits where grades are at different scales than for many metallic ores. Examples include quartz deposits where quartz constitutes more than 98 % of the mineralization and rather than quartz grades, the maximum content of critical impurities are of importance. Other important aspects for quartz deposits could be thermo-mechanical strengths, which are crucial for optimal furnace operation. Similarly, production of calcite concentrates for calcium carbonate fillers for the paper industry are mostly concerned with the whiteness of the final concentrate rather than the calcite grades in feed and concentrate. Often, concentrate whiteness and calcite grade may show a correlation, the calcite grade not merely being a result of the content of any mineral impurity.
During recent decades, more and more attention has been given to the potential ore deposits in the deep sea, but few studies has been carried out on the mineralogical and textural implications for mineral processing of such ores. Onshore mining has been exploiting the ancient sea floor massive sulphides but will the “fresh” deposits behave similarly in the mineral processing plant?
Kurt Aasly has experience as an exploration geologist for base metals and gold in Norway and Greenland. His Ph.D. project was “Properties and behaviour of quartz for silicon process.” He continued his work related to quartz between 2008 and 2012. Since 2012 he has been an associate professor at the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum at NTNU, his main field of research and teaching being process mineralogy and geometallurgy, with industrial minerals and iron oxides being the main focus. Kurt is currently spending a one year sabbatical as Visiting Academic at the JKMRC in Brisbane, Australia.
We are pleased to welcome Kurt to his 3rd MEI Process Mineralogy conference, and we also welcome FLSmidth as our latest major sponsor, joining Zeiss, and our media partner International Mining.


  1. Barry, process mineralogy is the backbone of good mineral exploration to exploitation(mining to metallurgy) operations,
    I am extremely happy that Dr.Aasly ( J.K. affiliation for me) is going to give a talk--I am looking forward to note the contents.
    Let me compliment the sponsors also.

  2. a lot of work has been done on extraction of metal values in the early eighties from the deep sea ferro manganese nodules with minor amounts of cobalt and nickel and the mode of extraction has been hydromettlurgical route here the nodules are powdered and leached in diffrent media


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