Closer look at iron ore

CSIRO and Rio Tinto have begun to jointly operate CSIRO’s Fe HyLogger™ technology in the Hamersley Ranges in the Pilbara.

CSIRO and Rio Tinto have begun to jointly operate CSIRO’s Fe HyLogger™ technology in the Hamersley Ranges in the Pilbara.

The Fe HyLogger provides an extremely rapid and automated spectroscopic determination of the mineralogy of drill cores and chips, with the added benefit of objective core logging and grade estimations. It now provides Rio Tinto with far more information from cores and chips then ever before.

John Phillips, Rio Tinto’s Manager Projects, explains why they are using the technology.

“What HyLogger does is gives us a valid scientific foundation for the information we get from cores or chips. In the past we relied on visual estimation, which is prone to error,” Phillips says.

“This new approach gives us a much better baseline to build our understanding and reduces risk around starting up new operations.”

CSIRO’s Commodity Leader for iron ore research, Dr Erick Ramanaidou, is now spending a lot of his time in the Pilbara with the Fe HyLogger and believes the technology will be a vital part of the exploration and mining scene in the future.

“The iron ore industry is facing a shortage of skilled workers combined with a large amount of iron ore samples to analyse” he says.

“It is in urgent need of an automated tool to provide accurate results. HyLogger appears to be that tool and both CSIRO and Rio Tinto are delighted with the initial results.”

The instrument is mounted in a custom-built, air-conditioned container.

The portable package of instrument, software (The Spectral Geologist) and container was designed and built entirely in Australia by a team led by Dr Lew Whitbourn and Dr Jon Huntington at CSIRO Exploration & Mining’s North Ryde Laboratories.

Rio Tinto is one of a number of explorers and miners taking a role as evaluators of CSIRO’s HyLogging systems.

Key contact:

Dr Erick Ramanaidou

Commodity leader for Iron Ore

CSIRO Exploration & Mining

Erick.Ramanaidou@csiro.au

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