On-Stream Analysis For Nickel In Mineral Slurries By Radioisotope X-Ray Techniques

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 70, No. 788, 1977

V. L. Gravitis, Experimental Officer, and J. S. Watt, Head, Radioisotope Applications Research Section, Australian Atomic Energy Commission, Lucas Heights, N.S.W., Australia, and G. J. Wenk, Senior Physicist, and L. R. Wilkinson, Senior Industrial Chemist, The Australian Mineral Development Laboratories, Frewville, South Australia

Radioisotope X-ray techniques of analysis for nickel have been tested in laboratory and plant trials. In the laboratory tests, a comparison was made of radioisotope and conventional analyses for nickel in solids samples taken from streams of a nickel concentrator. Coefficients of variation of 1.7% for feed and concentrate samples, and equal to 10% for final tailing samples, were obtained. Continuous determination of nickel in final tailing slurries was demonstrated in a trial lasting 20 days at a nickel concentrator (Western Mining Corporation), nickel being determined with a standard error of 0.036% Ni in the slurry solids within the range of 0.2\ to 0.68% Ni. This error, obtained by comparison of cm-stream probe analyses with assays of samples taken from the stream, includes errors in sampling and assay by conventional techniques.
Keywords: Process control, On-stream analysis, Nickel, Slurries, X-ray analysis, Radioisotopes, Tailings.