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Faster Soil Sampling for Copper-Silver Projects Using Portable XRF
by Philippine Resources - November 01, 2022
An Explorer’s Story By: Michelle Wright
A portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer is a powerful tool to have in your mining and geochemistry field kit. One explorer uses three Vanta™ handheld XRF analyzers for copper-silver exploration in Peru. Todd Houlahan, Olympus' Director of International Mining, recently sat down with Lars Dahlenborg, President of Hannan Metals overcome challenges in exploration.
The San Martin Project: A Copper-Silver Target in a Dense Rainforest
The top challenge Hannan Metals faces in its copper-silver exploration projects is the terrain.
Hannan Metals’ San Martin project—a strata bound sediment-hosted copper-silver target—is in the Amazon foreland basin, eastern Peru.
This region shows evidence of a basin-wide mineralization system active over hundreds of kilometers. This area is difficult to access due to dense rainforest and steep slopes. To get to the nearest field site, geologists must walk 1–3 hours from the closest 4x4 road. Another challenge is the limited outcropping.
While prospecting creek and stream sediments are effective methods to reduce the search space in this terrain, the dense vegetation and lack of rock outcrops—less than 1%—make it difficult to prove the continuity of mineralization between outcrops. As a result, Hannan Metals needs to The San Martin Project perform systematic soil sampling and analysis to map mineralization under cover.
Faster Soil Sampling for Copper-Silver Mineralization:
Hannan Metals turned to Vanta handheld XRF for faster soil sampling. To test its analytical capabilities for the project, Hannan Metals compared the Vanta XRF data to the lab data from conventional soil sampling.
The results exceeded expectations:
- Excellent spatial correlation between the Vanta analyzer and lab data for copper (Cu)—the primary element of interest.
- The Vanta analyzer detected the same anomalies as the lab data in the same dynamic parts per million (ppm) range.
- Very good correlation with known outcrop mineralization.
Importantly, the Vanta analyzer produced fit-for-purpose data for key elements:
Pathfinder elements: copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), arsenic (As), and nickel (Ni)
Major elements: potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), barium (Ba), silicon (Si), and titanium (Ti)
Establishing a Quality Control Program for the Copper-Silver Exploration Project:
All in all, the Vanta analyzer provides many benefits for the copper-silver project:
- 60% faster sampling rate enables the geologists to sample a larger area and increases the chance for discovery.
- Faster communication of results to management and other stakeholders.
- Enables real-time decisions during soil sampling—helpful for determining infill or extension of sample traverses
- Minimal sample size: reduces 800 kg of soil per month.
- Good value: payback time of one Vanta analyzer is about four months at the current sampling rate (this only accounts for hard assay costs—not the other logistical benefits).
To learn more: TRADERS INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY CO., INC. 24th Floor Trident Tower 312 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City 1209 Philippines E: firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com T: +632 8817-9004 | +632 8844-0749
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Philippine Resources - August 31, 2021
Automated, Robotic Innovations for Analyzing Geological Samples with Portable XRF
By Todd Houlahan Advances in robotics are leading to faster and more efficient X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyses for geo-exploration projects. One new robotics innovation revolutionizing XRF analysis is GERDA, the automated Geochemical Research and Documentation Assistant. Created by the MEFFA Lab Oy in Finland, the automated unit is designed to test core in core boxes and soil, sediment, and crushed rock in plastics bags to achieve higher sample throughput with your portable XRF analyzer. The system is set up on a CNC table with a Vanta™ handheld XRF analyzer, a high-resolution USB camera, a simple control module based on Raspberry Pi 3, and easy-to-use software for visualization of results and data processing. In parallel with GERDA, the inventors have started to develop a unique method known as Nugget Effect Gold Assay (NEFFA) to estimate gold mineralization in samples (typically crushed rock or crushed drill core). Read on to learn more! GERDA is used with a Vanta XRF analyzer to automate testing for geoexploration projects. Developing the GERDA System The GERDA system was developed by a team that has been using portable XRF analyzers on mineral exploration projects for over 15 years. Largely focused on the use of pathfinder elements as part of their gold exploration projects, the inventors have witnessed the development of portable XRF analyzers over time, particularly the improvements in speed and the reduction in the test times required to achieve the levels of precision needed. They have also observed Olympus’ developments in detector technology and signal processing and, in particular, the Vanta analyzer’s ability to achieve lower limits of detection (LODs) of elements, including gold (Au). As junior explorers on a limited budget, their focus has been on greenfield exploration, rapid identification of anomalies, generation of drill targets, and potential new discoveries, not resource definition. Key to this has been their ability to test a far greater number of samples using their portable XRF analyzers than would be possible if all samples were assayed in the lab. GERDA is critical to their ability to do this. GERDA is designed to: Increase sample throughput for existing portable XRF owners Help select samples for more expensive laboratory assay Provide faster access to meaningful results for real-time follow up/infill Reduce the overall cost of exploration analytical budgets Make exploration programs more efficient To see how GERDA works with portable XRF, watch this quick video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-Gesp0Gjpk What is Nugget Effect Gold Assay (NEFFA)? To understand this new technique, it is important to know how the “nugget effect” works. The nugget effect is a term used to describe the sampling problem that can occur when there are large gold particles (nuggets) in a sample. If a nugget is selected during a traditional sampling process, researchers can overestimate the amount of gold in the sample. But if the nugget is missed, the gold can be underestimated. For gold exploration and mining, this variability can lead to inaccurate results and costly mistakes. The Nugget Effect Gold Assay (NEFFA) technique aims to turn the traditional challenge associated with the nugget effect into an opportunity. NEFFA attempts to measure the nugget effect through multiple nondestructive, systematic analyses of a geological material (typically crushed rock or crushed drill core) to identify the presence of gold or other precious metals based upon its distribution within the sample. NEFFA completely redefines and reduces the traditional sample preparation procedure and aims to provide semi-quantitative gold results using portable XRF analyzers to identify samples of potential interest for further laboratory analysis. Here’s how it works: Representative samples of 20–30 g, depending on the nature of material, are isolated in a medium such as a clear sample bag or under plastic film to ensure that there’s no contamination from an external agent The sample is distributed evenly over a 10 cm × 10 cm square with the depth of the material being no thicker than 2 mm A grid or matrix is placed over the sample, with individual matrices measuring 1 cm × 1 cm Measurements are performed within each square cm, and the average of all results is reported The technique is most effective on crushed rock or crushed drill core samples with a grain size 3 mm, but not on homogenized pulp samples Rotary air blast and reverse circulation (RC) samples can be analyzed directly This method takes the throughput advantages of GERDA for general exploration projects and adds additional value for gold exploration by providing gold estimates using XRF. We acknowledge this method may be considered non-traditional. Portable XRF’s weaknesses in analyzing gold are well known (elemental spectral overlaps can cause false positives, relatively high LODs compared to the lab, and fire assay is the best technique to use), however the inventors’ initial work using GERDA and NEFFA suggests meaningful gold data and cost savings are possible with this system. Also, local radiation safety and licensing requirements must be followed with any proposed implementation of this technique. By Todd Houlahan - Director, International Mining Group Todd graduated from the University of Newcastle, Australia in 1993 with a degree in soils and hydrology. For the past 18 years, Todd has been a leader in the portable XRF revolution in the mineral exploration and mining industries, publishing numerous papers on the subject and presenting at international conferences. For the past 10 years, Todd has led Olympus’ International Mining Group helping explorers, miners, and their shareholders achieve cost efficiencies by using the best portable XRF and XRD technology solutions. To know more about Automated, Robotic Innovations for Analyzing Geological Samples with Portable XRF, visit https://trisco.com.ph/ or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Philippine Resources - December 07, 2021
Portable XRF for Gold (Au) and Au Pathfinders for Mineral Exploration and Ore Body Vectoring
Olympus’ X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzers provide high-performance, real-time geochemical data for rapid multielement characterization of soil, rocks, and ores. Recent advances in XRF technology have increased the number of elements measured, improved the limits of detection, and reduced analysis test times. Vanta™ XRF analyzers provide convenient and rapid measurement of many types of samples associated with Au exploration, within Au mines, Au mine labs, and refined Au products. Benefits Rapid indication of potential Au mineralization through XRF analysis of pathfinder elements in soil, drill cuttings, and drill cores Priority sample selection, maximization of analytical budgets, and improved drill target generation by prescreening samples with XRF Improved ore deposit understanding, modelling, and vectoring with less dilution and better Au recovery via XRF mapping of structural features and identification of mineralized and altered zones Inexpensive and rapid rock typing by using XRF for lithogeochemistry Associated Geochemical Signature of Au Deposits Source: Reflex Geochemistry Pathfinder and Alteration Geochemistry Most Au deposits have an associated geochemical signature (as shown in the table above). The XRF analyzer can detect these geochemical signatures, enabling geologists to better understand the geological system in which they are working. Typical Au pathfinder elements include As, Cu, Pb, Zn, Sb, Bi, Ag, and W. Typical XRF LODs for Common Au Pathfinder Elements with Vanta VMR GeoChem Model *120 s test time per beam, interference free SiO2 matrix; refer to Olympus LOD documents for further discussion on lower limits of detection (LODs) XRF Analyzer for the Detection of Gold It is common knowledge that handheld XRF analyzers do not support direct low level measurement of Au in geological samples (e.g., low ppm and ppb). The lab-based fire assay technique is commonly recognized as the method of choice for Au analysis. Au L-level X-ray lines are located in a very crowded area of the X-ray fluorescence energy spectrum. In this part of the spectrum, interference from other elements (e.g., As, Zn, W, and Se) can yield a false-positive Au determination. Direct measurement of Au by XRF can be achieved in specific cases such as high-grade (> 5 ppm) quartz vein environments (relatively interference free) or within refined Au products (where Au is present in very high concentrations). An increasing number of Au onsite mining laboratories are using XRF in place of, and as a supplement to, fire assays methods. Please refer to the Olympus Application Note “Use of Handheld XRF in Au Mine Laboratories.” Mines are also using Olympus handheld XRF analyzers for measuring Au in activated carbon. Please refer to the Olympus application note, "Measuring Gold in Activated Carbon." Images taken from: Arne et al. (2014) – The use of property-scale pXRF data in gold exploration – advantages and limitations, Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis. Contor plots of As, Cu, and Pb in surface soil using field XRF compared with ICP analysis from Au exploration project in Canada.
Philippine Resources - March 29, 2022
How to Automate Sampling and Analysis of Ores and Mine Materials
Photo: Vanta™ iX In-Line XRF Analyzer Accurate chemical analysis can provide vital data to enhance mining operations, such as improved extraction at mine sites and the optimized blending of mined material. However, sending samples to remote laboratories can cause delays ranging from hours to days. In addition, manually collected samples may not be representative of the bulk material. Automating this process and bringing the laboratory to the samples increases productivity. This can be done by adopting an automatic on-belt sampling solution. An Introduction to Automated On-Belt Sampling and Analysis Automatic on-belt sampling solutions provide instant chemical analysis of bulk mined material, such as coal, aluminum (Al), titanium (Ti), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and copper (Cu) ores. For instance, our on-belt sampling solution integrates the powerful Vanta™ in-line XRF analyzer to provide a fast, automated, and accurate analysis: Real-time chemical analysis of mining feed material on belt Excellent sensitivity to trace elements Quantification of up to 30 elements in one measurement Detection down to 1 ppm for key elements Analysis of light elements, including magnesium (Mg), aluminum (Al), silicon (Si), and sulfur (S) 3-Step Process for Automated On Belt Analysis To help you understand how automated on-belt analysis works, here is the process in three simple steps: Collect - Samples are collected from the belt automatically using a cross-belt sampler, without the need to stop or slow the belt. The system can be designed to meet relevant sampling and preparation standards, including ISO 12743, ISO 13909, ASTM E877, and ASTM D7430. Prepare - The collected samples are crushed to the required size. The moisture content is measured and recorded to remove measurement bias. The samples are pressed and ready for chemical analysis using X-ray fluorescence (XRF). The entire preparation process is automatically controlled and monitor. Analyze - The prepared samples are analyzed using the Vanta iX in-line XRF analyzer. The data collection and analysis are fully automated. After analysis, the results can be seamless integrated into a plant workflow and data management system. This enables the right person to have the right data at the right time. Key Benefits of Automated On-Belt Analysis for Mining Operations Automated on-belt analysis has many benefits for mining operations, including: Fully automated and continuous to maintain high productivity Can be seamlessly integrated into existing plants No radioactive material used unlike alternative methods High-quality results from direct sample analysis compared to methods that perform through belt measurements Real-time laboratory-quality measurements Modular design for ease of maintenance
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Philippine Resources - January 30, 2023
PHILEX MINING GEARS UP FOR EXPANSION, SIGNIFIES INTEREST IN MACAWIWILI
In photo at the signing of the term sheet between PMC and MGMDCI were: (seated, left to right) Felicisimo A. Feria, Jose Ma. S. Lopez, and Michael L. Escaler, all representing MGMDCI; Manuel V. Pangilinan, Philex Chairman; and Eulalio B. Austin Jr., Philex President and CEO; (standing, left to right) Atty. Katrina Janine Sta. Ana, Associate, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Bryan George Manzano, Associate, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Michelle Carisse Balois, Partner, Feria Tantoco Daos Law Offices; Atty. Daneia Isabelle Palad, Partner, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Winston Cruz, Vice-President and General Counsel, Philex Mining Corporation; Romeo B. Bachoco, Senior Vice-President and Chief Finance Officer, Philex Mining Corporation; Atty. Marilyn A. Victorio-Aquino, Director, Philex Mining Corporation; Atty. Barbara Anne C. Migallos, Director and Corporate Secretary, Philex Mining Corporation and Partner, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Raymond Francis Jamora, Associate, Feria Tantoco Daos Law Offices; and Atty. Michael John Tantoco, Jr., Associate, Feria Tantoco Daos Law Offices. (PMC photo) Philex Mining Corporation, one of the oldest and largest copper and gold producers in Southeast Asia, recently set into motion its plans for expansion with the signing of a Term Sheet with Macawiwili Gold Mining and Development Co., Inc. (“MGMDCI”) in simple ceremonies in Makati City. Macawiwili Gold Mining and Development Co., Inc. is a 90-year old company engaged in mineral exploration and production in Itogon, Benguet. With over 800 hectares of contract area under its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement, the Company has been exploring various mineral deposits, including gold and copper, for several decades. The Term Sheet outlines the parties’ clear intentions to explore commercial, financial, and technical avenues in preparation for possible shares acquisition by the Company in MGMDCI. Activities to kick off this partnership will include conduct of due diligence and scout drilling activities on the property of MGMDCI covered by Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) in Itogon, Benguet Province., located adjacent to the existing Padcal Mine of the Company. Signing the Term Sheet on behalf of the Company were Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman, and Eulalio B. Austin Jr., President and CEO; while representing the shareholders of MGMDCI were Michael G. Escaler, Jose Ma. S. Lopez, and Felicisimo A. Feria. The signing was also witnessed by directors and officers of the Company as well as counsel for both parties. “Our interest to pursue investments in the Macawiwili property” according to Eulalio B. Austin, Jr., President and CEO, “is part of our business direction for this year to broaden interest in ‘green metals’ through mergers and acquisitions.” “We need to hit the ground with this at the soonest possible time,” Austin adds, “considering that this property is adjacent to our Padcal mine and would go a long way in fulfilling company plans for expansion and extension of the life-of-mine of Padcal. “This is a good addition or extension to the Padcal Mine,” according to Manuel V. Pangilinan, Philex Chairman. “I hope that this is the start of something good and that it would ride the wave of higher metal prices in gold and copper.” Pangilinan emphasized that “any addition, expansion, or extension to the Padcal Mine would greatly benefit not just our employees and their families, but also our host and neighboring communities, and our nation as a whole.” Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - January 30, 2023
DMCI Holdings, SMPC among best governed PLCs
Photo caption (left to right): SMPC Corporate Governance and Compliance Manager Joseph D. Susa, DMCI Holdings Board Advisor and SMPC Independent Director Honorio O. Reyes-Lao and SMPC SVP, Chief Risk, Compliance and Performance Officer Junalina S. Tabor. Diversified engineering conglomerate DMCI Holdings and its energy subsidiary Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) were among the Philippine listed companies recognized for their corporate governance performance by the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD). DMCI Holdings received the 2 Golden Arrow recognition while SMPC was awarded the 3 Golden Arrow recognition. Both have been ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard (ACGS) Golden Arrow awardees since 2019. The awards were conferred after the two companies exhibited observable conformance with the Philippine Code of Corporate Governance and internationally recommended corporate governance practices as espoused by the ACGS. The ACGS measures the performance of the companies in the areas of facilitating the rights and the equitable treatment of shareholders, how they relate to their different stakeholders, ensuring transparency and accountability through timely disclosure of material information, and how the board guides the company strategically, monitors the management, and ensures the board’s accountability to the company and the shareholders. Over 80 Philippine listed companies were feted during the in-person awarding ceremony in Sheraton Manila Hotel last January 20. Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - January 30, 2023
DOTr to prevent more delays in PNR Clark Phase 2 project
Photo credit: DOTr The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will work closely with the contractor of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 2 project to ensure that issues are addressed after its projected completion date was delayed by eight months. In a statement on Monday, the DOTr said the project, initially slated for completion in June 2024, has been delayed until June 2025 due to the delay in the turnover of the land to project contractor POSCO Engineering & Construction. “Before the 36-hectare site was turned over by the government to POSCO, several fruit-bearing trees were cut down, causing the delay,” it said. About 48 buildings and facilities are expected to be built by POSCO at the project site, meant to be the Clark Depot of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR). “As of December 31, 2022, more than 33% of the planned construction has been completed,” it said. In addition to buildings and facilities, the Clark Depot will have 33 stabling tracks to serve as the parking areas for the trains and 12 other tracks to access maintenance facilities. During a site visit at the project site, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said the Clark Depot is where the operations control center will be located which will serve as the “heart of operations” of the rail service. “It is important that we complete this as planned and on time. I know that there are issues that need to be resolved. The DOTr will work closely with [the contractor], so we can fix problems and address issues,” Bautista said. The 53-kilometer PNR Clark Phase 2 is the second leg of the NSCR and will link multiple cities and municipalities in Central Luzon with Metro Manila. Funded by the Asian Development Bank, the project is seen to cut travel time between Malolos City in Bulacan province and Clark, Pampanga province from 1.5 hours to 30 minutes. This part of the NSCR also includes the Airport Railway Express Service that will connect Makati to the Clark International Airport through a 55-minute train ride. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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