DMH GOLDSCHMIDT2015 POSTER
August 6th, 2015
Fast and fully-automated data acquisition process reached via SEM and EDX integration.
The TESCAN TIMA is designed with a computer controlled stage that carries a specially designed mineralogical sample holder. It allows inserting up to 22 resin blocks with a diameter of 30 mm or 9 thin sections at the same time. In the center of the holder, an EDX/BSE calibration standard is placed for automatic signal calibration and system performance checks.
The TIMA is equipped with an ultra-fast YAG scintillator BSE detector, complemented with four silicon drift EDX detectors in analytical geometry to cover maximum solid angle of X-ray data acquisition for high throughput analysis. Collection of EDX data is synchronized with a scanning system and BSE signal acquisition using integrated hardware.
An SE Everhart-Thornley type detector and Cathodoluminescence detector are available for complementary configurations and analysis. A chamber view camera facilitates manipulation with samples in the chamber.
The DMH has a suite of equipment that facilitates vacuum mount impregnation and manual and automated polishing that is often required to prepare samples for electron microscopy.
The TIMA solution addresses applications such as mineral liberation analysis, process optimization, remediation, and search for precious metals and rare earths.
As the downturn in mineral prices continues to drag on Australia’s economy, a project led by Perth’s Curtin University is seeking to create an open access digital mineral inventory of WA that it hopes could stimulate interest in further exploration in the state.
Industrial Minerals by Cameron Chai, Friday, April 10, 2015
The declining fortunes of Australia’s mining industry have been a graphic illustration of how the collapse of the commodities boom can pull the rug out from beneath entire economies.
Data from the financial year 2013-2014 indicates that Western Australia’s (WA) minerals and energy output alone was worth $122bn for the year, dominated by iron ore, which accounted for approximately 60% of the sector’s income. This equates to almost 65% of Australia’s national output, with minerals being Australia’s major export earner. The collapse of iron ore prices to below $50/tonne, down from a peak of $190/tonne four years ago, has hit WA hard and the state is now urgently seeking ways to stimulate its mineral sector and diversify its resource base away from iron ore.
One avenue being considered is the public documentation of WA’s mineral resources. It is hoped that by allowing free, open access to this information, further interest in developing domestic mineral reserves will be stimulated and create a more varied and sustainable mineral economy.
In WA’s capital Perth, the state government is sitting on a collection of over 2,000 heavy mineral concentrate samples. These have been systematically collected and meticulously catalogued by the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) over the last 30 years of geological mapping. The mineralogical makeup of these samples is largely unknown, but technological advances in both microanalytical and geoinformatics science may shed new light on the contents of the vials.
Left photo: (Left to right) Elaine Miller, deputy manager of the JdLC Microscopy and Microanalysis Facility and Adam Brown, JdLC software engineer for the Open Access Mineral Map project, undergoing TIMA training with Dr Kamran Khajehpour from AXT.
The MMF is involved in the creation of the Digital Mineralogy Hub facility which is using cutting-edge scanning electron microscope technology to construct a mineralogical and geodata library for the Australian continent. Read more.