The latest trend in the mining and minerals industry is a move towards the design and construction of modular or containerised laboratories in order to ensure that the client has at his disposal a full scope of capabilities for the fast turn-around of accurate and reliable data, explains Gary McFarlane, business development at APT Processing.
These laboratories (labs) are designed and operated in accordance with global quality standards, internationally recognised methods and proficiency programs that include benchmark comparisons with external labs. As more Junior and emergent mining companies are entering the exploration and mining industry- they are frequently dealing with smaller exploration areas, hence they need fast turn-around to maximize on site value, states McFarlane. Most mining activities are carried out in remote areas far from traditional laboratories, and thus require samples to be shipped across borders or transported hundreds of kilometres for analysis, which tends to be costly and time consuming. Modular or containerized laboratories now offer a number of benefits over the traditional laboratories as they can be moved at a relatively low cost, andare quick to bring on-line.
“Flexibility to react quickly is now hugely important in the new mining industry. Good decisions are made not only upon good information, but in time with changing events. containerized, convenient, fast analyses make a great partner to nimble slick operations”, adds McFarlane. whether on-site or off-site, it is imperative that one knows what elements is looking for, and if it is gold, then a system will include a bLeG with an AA. if it is base metals, then Xrf can be specified. for the cyanidation plant option, a carbon ashing furnace is also included, however if the amount of samples is large, or a programme needs to be accelerated, dual units can be ordered, placed together and then separated later for deployment at different sites, explains McFarlane.
APT Field Assay Laboratory
APT recently installed a field Assay Laboratory at the CATA operation in Tanzania, enabling exploration to proceed while the rest of the process plant is being installed. APT’s laboratories include analytical tools such as Atomic Absorption, X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), as well as activated carbon analysis for monitoring cyanidation systems. The facilities are not just equipped for analysis, but also include the relevant metallurgical testing capability. They therefore also provide information upon expected extraction, a vital part of the equation. This additional capability makes the units ideal for ongoing monitoring and efficiency maintenance of APT plants or existing plants, concludes McFarlane.