To meet the rising global demand for key metals, today’s mining industry must employ smarter approaches to adjust to a general decline in ore grades coupled with ever-increasing environmental pressures. Successful, environmentally aware exploration and mineral extraction requires effective analyses of the textures and microstructures of ore-bearing rocks. However, conventional techniques are either slow (e.g. light microscopy point counting or electron probe microanalysis (EPMA)) or miss key textural information (e.g. atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) or X-Ray diffraction (XRD)).
In this webcast, the speakers will describe recent advances in two of the most widely applicable scanning electron microscope (SEM) based microanalysis techniques: energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS) and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). In combination, these techniques enable effective characterisation of whole rock thin sections in a matter of minutes and provide all of the information required to understand ore mineralogy, such as modal analysis, grain size, mineral and elemental deportment, as well as more in-depth understanding such as chemical zoning, deformation mechanisms and crystallographic fabrics.
The webcast will highlight examples of fast, integrated EBSD and EDS analyses from a range of ore-bearing samples, including chromite-bearing pyroxenites from the Bushveld igneous complex in South Africa, the world’s largest reserve of platinum group metals, and gold placer deposits from Scotland.