Development of semi-quantitative ToF-SIMS technology for the needs of the mineral processing industry

The overall goal of the project is to aid in the development and improvement of mineral separation in the flotation processes. The research aspects of the project aim at developing the ToF-SIMS technique for reliable surface chemical analyses of sulphide grains. The research expands upon a ToF-SIMS analytical technique pioneered at UWO and focuses on understanding the factors affecting the secondary ion yield for specific minerals. This information will allow for cross mineral comparisons and calibration of the instrument, providing the capability to produce semi-quantitative element loading data on mineral surfaces.

The research program will produce an entirely new approach for testing the flotation characteristics of ores and provide a routine surface chemical analytical technique specifically designed for mineral separation by flotation. For our partner (SGS mineral services), the research will result in the following: i) development of a predicative tool promoting the advancement of testing strategies with the potential for faster flow sheet development and ii) development of a diagnostic tool for measuring and optimizing large scale (plant) flotation separation operations.

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