The production and marketing of an innovative, low-cost and user-friendly, automated system for the microscopic characterization of ores, to improve the geometallurgical performance and to reduce the environmental impact bound to the benefit of mineral raw materials.

The solution (technology)

The AMCO system will upgrade previous developments (CAMEVA System, TRL: 5+) based on reflected light microscopy, to acquire and process multispectral reflectance images in the visible and near infrared range on polished sections of ores, for automated mineral identification and quantification. It provides automated ore identification, quantitative information on ore mineralogy and grain size, and textural analyses of intergrowths. A compact and user-friendly software, the training of industry staff, and the test of the new system and its applications by mining partners will ensure a final TRL 7-8. Its performance being comparable to that of the SEM-/XRD-based systems, it has several important advantages over them, such as much lower price, less demanding infrastructure, and more user-friendly and intuitive setup; moreover it can perform tasks that are not easy with SEM-based systems, e.g. the reliable automated identification of Fe-oxide mineral species (safely achieved by methods based on optical properties, as the reflectance spectra, but not on Fe-content alone), very important for a sector that accounts for ≈40 % of the world mining economy.