Mineralogy provides information on the nature of natural and synthetic materials and focuses around the chemistry and physical properties of crystalline products. In the context of mining studies this has several applications;
- Geological characterization of an orebody to understand exploration significance or origin or to define controls on mineralization. This can be useful when modelling the deposit as a framework for resource estimation.
- In exploration as a direct tool for determining presence of pathfinder or ore elements in surficial or weathered materials, particularly useful with diamond and gold exploration.
- Characteristzation applied to mineral processing in order to determine the metallurgical properties of those materials. It incorporates the principles of process mineralogy and material characterization as a tool for predictive metallurgy or Geometallurgy.
- Assessment of physical structures, inconsistencies or weaknesses that may reveal inherent geotechnical or mining issues when extracting a material.
- Determine presence of phases hosting deleterious elements that may be leached by environmental processes and is an essential component in the prediction of Acid Rock Drainage-Metal Leaching potential.
As a consultancy specialising in the provision of services to the mining industry, SRK Consulting has acquired more than 25 years experience in prediction, prevention and control of ARD, in all types of mining and geographical environments, from green field sites through to operating mines and on to post closure remediation evaluation.
SRK scientists and engineers have published numerous technical and research papers, both in journals and presented at many international conferences.
SRK in collaboration with Cardiff University can provide a range of services that cover a comprehensive approach in applied mineralogy. In addition we do work with other research institutes and contract laboratories as required. This independence allows us to evaluate all possible options for evaluation work and not to focus only on issues that can be addressed by preferred equipment suppliers.
The following services are available;
- Optical and electron microscopy; to determine minerals present, textures and associations
- X-Ray Diffraction; to determine mineral speciation in a bulk or single crystal sample
- Electron microprobe; to determine mineral chemistry
- Whole rock analysis including gold and platinum group metal assays
- Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry; determine trace concentrations of elements in solid particles such as trace gold or platinum in iron sulfide matrix
- Diagnostic leaching; determine metal distribution proportional to partial leaching of a solid matrix by targeted chemical reagents