A revolutionary ore sorting technology will soon be used, leaving higher grade ore to be processed and increasing efficiency in mining production.
A revolutionary ore sorting technology will soon be used, leaving higher grade ore to be processed and increasing efficiency in mining production.

High-tech new machinery to ‘revolutionise’ mining

A NEW revolutionary ore sorting technology will soon be used for the first time in the Northern Territory.

NT Bullion, which recently announced an investment of $2 million through a share placement with Emmerson Resources (ASX: ERM) to develop one of the most prospective high grade gold and copper districts in Australia in and around Tennant Creek, is trucking the German made Steinert system from Perth to the Territory.

Called WALKABOUT, it uses a series of lasers, X-rays and infra-red technology to eject waste ore, leaving the higher grade ore to be processed and increasing efficiency in mining production.

"This new technology will revolutionise ore mining in the NT and will enormously increase efficiency and production," NT Bullion managing director Rod Illingworth said.

"The machinery will be processing export iron ore at Frances Creek by early next month.

"In addition, NT Bullion's strategy is to develop and expand the Territory's gold production and rescue the millions of dollars worth of stranded gold assets in smaller mines.

"NT Bullion will move this machinery from site to site and will make a significant difference to the way in which these smaller gold mines can operate.

"This is important for research and development because of the unique challenges in the Territory and we will be inviting the NT Government and department to share in the data and technology benefits unearthed during our work on various mine sites.

"We are consolidating a number of gold mining leases through partnering with additional operators as well as securing gold mining rights in our own name."

NT Bullion, which is 45 per cent owned by local indigenous investors, is already planning the construction of a gold processing plant in the Tennant Creek area using other gold exploration sites, and this new alliance will see an additional 1600sq km area under Emmerson further developed.

"WALKABOUT uses highly developed scans and X-ray sensitive cameras which allows particles to be evaluated in terms of atom mass of each chemical element," Mr Illingworth said.

"The advanced computing system determines the difference between the incidental and the transmitted radiation, drawing conclusions about the atomic composition of the scanned material.

"WALKABOUT uses an overlay algorithm in a 3D laser scanner and each particle is scanned three dimensionally and the thickness overlay is placed on the X-Ray absorption image, resulting in accurate density separation irrespective of the particle size.

"The ore is then separated through a series of sophisticated high speed, high performance individually activated solenoid micro-valves which aim at the particles' calculated centre of mass and blows the waste ore to one side, leaving concentrated ore to be processed.

"This results in more concentrated ore to be processed providing a significant improvement in the yield per tonne of final production."

Originally published as High-tech new machinery to 'revolutionise' NT ore mining


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