Blue Cube Online Mineral Analysers Namakwa Sands has installed five Blue Cube online MQi’s (Mineral Quantifying Instruments) in the dry mill at the Mineral Separation Plant (MSP). The initial success obtained with a bench top unit motivated interest in the on-line instruments, which are each calibrated for the specific mineral range contained in the stream to be analysed. The MQi’s are used to provide online mineral analysis of critical streams with the objective of improving circuit control and stability in order to improve mineral recovery. The MQi units have performed well and aid proactive grade control and troubleshooting in order to maximise mineral recovery.

G B Diener
Operations Manager: MSP

Manganese Metal Company

When we started out with the project, we had three different sections measuring the ferrous content of calcined ore. When the methods were scrutinized, it was found that they were in fact doing the analyses differently. Although they were all using autotitrators, the sample has to be prepared to present it to the titrator. This included weighing, dissolution, boiling and cooling down. All of these steps were treated differently by different operators although the Standard Operating Procedures did not differ at all. It was therefore important to have an analyses method that eliminates the preparation steps or requires very little preparation before presentation of the sample.

The Blue Cube MQa technology offered such a method. Although the method is optical and requires regular calibration it accepts the samples as is with minimal smoothing of the sample in the presentation tray. Over and above this improvement, we received more than we bargained for. Apart from ferrous content, the Blue Cube MQa now also reports Total and Soluble Manganese as well as carbon content on the feed stream and leachability on the product streams. With the maintenance contract, calibrations are easy and assistance from the Blue Cube staff is always there.

We automatically transfer the Blue Cube analyses to our information Management System and are able to do predictions on plant performance. We can still improve the process by converting the equipment to an in line model . In this way we will have values every 20 seconds compared to once an hour. This will become a totally new ballgame.

Francois Scholtz
Business Excellence Superintendent
Manganese Metal Company