25h Th, 25h Labo., 15h Proj.
Number of credits
Language(s) of instruction
Organisation and examination
Teaching in the first semester, review in January
Units courses prerequisite and corequisite
Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program
Learning unit contents
- Introduction : from analytical chemistry to analytical mineralogy
- Sampling of particulate materials
- Particle Size and Shape Analysis
- Sieving, Coulter, Sedimentation, Laser Diffraction, Image Analysis,...
- Representation of particle size distributions (PSD)
- Statistics for PSD
- Reflected Light Optical Microscopy
- Theory of optics and mineral surfaces
- Mineralogical Imaging
- Image processing and analysis principles
- Quantitative mineralogy (modal analysis, liberation analysis,...)
- Electron beam microscopy
- The electron microscope
- Imaging modes (SE, BSE, ...)
- Electron beam microanalysis and mapping
- Automated mineralogy
- Infrared and Raman spectroscopy for minerals
- X Ray diffraction
- Xray MicroCT Tomography (optional)
Learning outcomes of the learning unit
- Understand qualitative and quantitative analytical mineralogy techniques essential for monitoring mineral processing operations.
- Be able to use them appropriately and to make a sound data interpretation
- Be able to cross-correlate the results of the different techniques for validation
- Make use of the obtained mineralogical data to balance unit operations and identify issues related to elemental deportment in the process
- Be able to build recovery curves and develop a geometallurgical approach in processing complex and low grade ores
Prerequisite knowledge and skills
Basic Mineralogy Course
Notions of Mineral Processing
Planned learning activities and teaching methods
Lectures are delivered in a classroom allowing for spontaneous interaction between professor and students. The lessons use PPT with images of microscopic ore textures.
Every (2h) lecture is complemented by a (2h) practical session on the instruments presented during the course. The students are given real ore samples on which they have to perform a series of analyses and report in written form about their findings. Ideally the samples are those on which they work in the mineral processing course so that the analytical information gathered during these practical sessions serves for the interpretation of recoveries obtained in the mineral processing lab.
Reflected light Optical Microscopy on a variety of ore samples is organized both in the lab and with virtual acccess. Identification of ore minerals is a key competence to develop during the course.
Whenever possible scholars (expert researchers) are invited to present insights into the most advanced and innovative technologies (ex. X-Ray tomography; automated mineralogy;...).
Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)
- Frontal instruction (2h) to explain the principles, capabilities and limitations of the techniques
- Hands-on learning (2h) on real ore samples using a variety of techniques
- Written report and face-to-face discussion with young researchers about results
Recommended or required readings
Power Point presentations available through the student portal (MyULg)
Process Mineralogy, M.Becker, E Wightman and C Evans (editors), JKMRC Monograph Series (2017)
Assessment methods and criteria
80% : Written examination consisting in a series of questions relating to both a sound understanding of the underlying principles and to the proper interpretation of data collected from real case studies.
10% : Practical works handed over by students during the year (particle size analysis, image analysis,...) contribute to the final mark for 10%. The scientific rigor, clear structure and illustration as well as care taken in the presentation are essential criteria in the evaluation.
10% : Practical examination in optical ore microscopy (on site or virtual).