Nano-scale characterization of ore minerals for an optimized metal extraction process (NanoORE)

Reference number 2018-04426
Coordinator Luleå tekniska universitet - Avd. Geovetenskap och Miljötekniik
Funding from Vinnova SEK 469 000
Project duration November 2018 - November 2019
Status Ongoing
Venture Research infrastructure - utilisation and collaboration
Call Research infrastructure - utilisation and collaboration: Industrial pilot projects for neutron and photon experiments at large scale research infrastructures

Purpose and goal

This project aim to test if synchrotron-based techniques can be used in the mining industry to improve the characterization of trace elements in ore samples. With an improved characterization, the metal recovery can potentially increase which would result in more sustainable mining. Another important goal for the project is to introduce the Swedish mining industry, through Boliden that is one of the leading metal producers in Europe, to the analytical capacity of a synchrotron facility.

Expected results and effects

Project partners Luleå University of Technology and Boliden Mineral will test how a conventional method for characterization of ore minerals and trace elements, automated mineralogy, compares to an advanced analysis by synchrotron-based micro-XRF. A positive effect from the project, if the tests prove useful from an industry perspective, is that the number of potential users of synchrotron facilities increase as another important basic industry is made aware of the capacity of a synchrotron.

Planned approach and implementation

Samples planned for use in this project have already been characterized by automated mineralogy in an ongoing CAMM2 PhD project. Suitable samples for synchrotron analysis will be selected, from discussions with beamline scientists at MAX IV or alternative international synchrotron. After micro-XRF analysis is performed at the synchrotron, data will be evaluated. Industry will take active part in all stages of the project, so that knowledge of synchrotron techniques will be transferred from expert users to industry.

The project description has been provided by the project members themselves and the text has not been examined by our editors.