Mining companies are continually exploring new methods and techniques to make their operations more efficient and cost effective, all the while ensuring that their products maintain optimum levels of quality. Here, product manager Christelle Petiot looks at Hitachi High-Tech’s X-MET8000 Expert Geo technology and how this can prove useful within the mining industry.
The topic of investment will be at the top of the agenda at this year’s Mining Indaba conference. Following declining commodity prices and reduced demand for an almost ten year period, the mining industry is beginning to show signs of recovery. However, investors will still be cautious with their investments, looking to ensure returns on investments within reasonable timescales for any capital invested in mining projects.
With this in mind, the X-MET8000 Expert Geo analyzer can help mining companies in reducing the probable time to market for new mining operations, alongside increasing overall efficiency and reducing costs. Since the X-MET8000 Expert Geo is able to deliver fast on-site geochemical analysis, it is suitable for use throughout the entire mining process. Exploration, planning, grade control, tailing operations and environmental screening during decommissioning can all benefit from the implementation of efficient screening systems with the X-MET8000 at their core.
There are a number of reasons that mining professionals choose the X-MET8000 for their operations. These include the following:
The X-MET8000 Expert Geo avoids the need for specialist preparation of samples. The mineral deposit to be tested can be simply exposed and the trigger pulled before the results are displayed on the device’s screen a few seconds later. Multiple analyses can be performed at the same location or spread over a wider site. On-site analysis considerably reduces the need to send samples to external laboratories, saving time and money as well as enabling investors and mining companies to make faster decisions.
The X-MET8000 Expert Geo boasts a compact, handheld design; weighing only 1.5 kg. This enables the device to be easily carried between locations on a mining site and ensures that it is useful in both underground and open-pit operations. The X-MET8000 has a battery life of 10-12 hours, enabling hundreds of samples to be tested on a daily basis.
Current mining exploration can take place in some of the most remote and inhospitable regions of the world. The X-MET8000 has been designed with these harsh conditions in mind and boasts a large heat sink which guarantees stability in the hottest climates. Its body is dust and splash proof to NEMA 3 and IP54 standards and it has rubber bumpers in place to prevent shocks. In fact, the unit meets the MIL-STD-810G military standard for resistance to drop, vibration and shock.
4—Ease of Use
An intuitive user interface enables the device to be used with only minimal training. Results are displayed on a 4.3 inch color touchscreen, and large icons provide easy access to all the device’s functions, even when a user is wearing protective gloves.
Hitachi High-Tech’s BOOST™ technology enables the X-MET8000 Expert Geo to not only rapidly render results, but also allows the unit to be almost 10 times more sensitive in comparison to other handheld XRF analyzers. It has the ability to measure almost 40 elements by default, and additional calibration settings can enable the unit to test a broad range of other materials. Its higher sensitivity enables the analysis of low-grade ores and the detection of trace elements.
As technology advances, mining operations also begin to use more integrated digital systems and data management practices. The X-MET8000 Expert Geo can integrate into these systems with ease, and the app developed by Hitachi High-Tech can be used to share analysis results with clients, suppliers and colleagues to enable rapid decision making between stakeholders and investors.
For example, a large mining operation could be controlled using real-time, managed data that links results from multiple analyzers via the same cloud account.
The X-MET8000 is equipped with GPS, enabling users to combine results data with geographical information, allowing companies to use a map-based approach for recording sample results and coordinates across sites. This functionality can be combined with Trimble® receivers to provide more accurate location data.
Regarding data storage, almost 100,000 results can be stored by the unit itself, and reports can be generated in customized PDF and CSV formats. Where there is the potential for sample bags to become confused or mixed up, the X-MET8000 can also be connected to a portable Bluetooth printer and labels can be printed off for use there and then.
Hitachi High-Tech has over forty years’ experience in the innovation, testing and honing of XRF technology. This enables it to offer solutions for the latest requirements in testing, both in lab-based settings and in portable handheld formats.
The company’s first X-ray products were designed for internal use over four decades ago as a division of Outokumpu Oy, with the first X-MET products entering the market in 1974. Hitachi High-Tech has a reputation for providing the most reliable analysis equipment, making it the go-to supplier for these technologies.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science.
For more information on this source, please visit Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science.