Due to the elevated price volatility in raw materials sector, small and medium enterprises conducting minerals exploration may experience major difficulties due to their limited financial pool and higher relevant cost of their operations induced by strict governmental standards and by sensitivity to the market shocks in the sector. Even for the big players on the market it’s difficult to plan long-term exploration campaigns due to volatility of corresponding budget in respect to the current commodity prices.
PAiRED-X instrument will increase the exploration cost efficiency (much cheaper in respect to the laboratory instruments + personnel + samples shipment), reduce the acquisition time to some minutes per sample (instead of hours, days and months) and fully automate the quantitative analysis of rock/ore samples. Such approach will eliminate the dependence of exploration activity on the raw materials price volatility.
The benefits will be:
– The portable instrument will reduce the operational expenses for the exploration by providing faster, complete and more accurate analyses in real time over a larger number of samples.
– Investment costs are reduced because no laboratory infrastructure is necessary.
– Junior companies will reduce their initial and running costs and have more possibilities to survive even in recessed economies
– Reducing the operational expenses will permit to open more exploration sites
– The lower analyses costs and real time availability can permit the exploration of older mines to evaluate their re-use at a lower mineral content. The measurements of the correct mineralogy here is fundamental to evaluate the profitability of older mines. This is particularly important in Europe where exploration and new mines are at quite low level.
The PAiRED-X instrument is aimed also to decrease the mine site exploration costs and analysis delays, allowing the mining companies to focus on smarter operational planning by on-site ore mineralogy evaluation, which provides fast decision making and conformity with daily operations situation on-site. Moreover, the PAiRED-X device should bring new practices in mines asset management and strengthen other assets efficiency decreasing their stand-by time by its ability in fast data reporting via cloud technology.
For those companies, which prefer to avoid risky expansion projects, it will be possible to reduce the costs of mine-site inspection and deposits evaluation by using portable and automated PAiRED-X.
The specific additional benefits will be:
– The instrument performing both mineralogical and chemical analysis on site in real time will allow a better optimization of the mine resources.
– The mapping capabilities and more complete and exhaustive characterization will provide better knowledge of the geology of the site and leads to a more efficient mining.
– The better controls of the extracted materials prior to sending to the refining process will optimize the costs and resources.
– The complete and more accurate mineralogy will permit a better selection of the refinement process and evaluation of the processing expenses respect to the metal obtained.
– Energy and water resources used for the mineral processing can be reduced.
Processing, Refinement and Recycling Fields:
Another applicative feature of PAiRED-X device is the mitigation of the environmental impact of mining industry. The KIC project Go-4-0 seeks to understand the physical and chemical properties of industrial dusts (from grinding and various calcination processes) in order to reduce binder addition for palletisation. PAiRED–X will be an ideal tool to analyse these loose materials in order to evaluate rapidly its complex mineralogical and chemical characteristics. Some exploration companies re-evaluate deposits of lower ore grades or the deposits with complex mineralogy (difficult-to-refine). With PAiRED-X mining and smelting companies can boost in diversification of their ore beneficiation procedures, as the device will in the matter of minutes provide mineralogical properties of the ores apart from their grade.
Paired-X may provide benefits also to industrial dust analyses. As an example, the KIC project Go-4-0 seeks to understand the physical and chemical properties of industrial dusts (from grinding and various calcination processes) in order to reduce binder addition for palletisation. Paired-X will be ideal to analyse these loose materials in order to evaluate rapidly its combined mineralogical and chemical characteristics.