Toronto, September 23, 2015 – Minera Alamos Inc. (the “Company” or “Minera Alamos”) (TSX-V: MAI) today provided an update on test work currently underway in their evaluation of sensor-based ore sorting techniques for its 100% owned Los Verdes copper-molybdenum project in Sonora Mexico.
Minera Alamos is working with Tomra Systems of Norway to evaluate the effectiveness of their rock sorting equipment for use at Los Verdes. Founded in 1972, Tomra is now one of the worlds’ leading sensor-based solution companies with over 200 mining installations around the world.
“A large selection of rock samples from Los Verdes are currently at Tomra’s test lab in Perth, Australia for bench testing with their sensors,” said Darren Koningen, President, Minera Alamos Inc. “The ore sorting results will be interpreted together with assays to allow us to predict and optimize the capabilities of this equipment for increasing the grade of mined material prior to final processing.”
“The company’s goal is to develop a long life regional treatment facility centered at the Los Verdes site,” says Koningen. “A successful result would also allow for regional deposits to utilize the technology to upgrade their mineralized material so that it can be cost effectively transported for treatment at the Los Verdes processing facilities.”
Final test results are expected in October and will be used in the Preliminary Economic Assessment due late this year.
Sensor-Based Ore Sorting
The primary objective of ore sorting is to remove waste rock before valuable time and money is spent processing it. Until the mid-twentieth century, that process was simply carried out by hand. Today, sensor technologies are capable of recognizing and separating waste rock based on a variety of physical characteristics including conductivity, transparency, shape, colour, brightness or atomic density.
Although the sensor-based sorting systems were first commercialized in the 1970’s, first generation systems simply were not economically feasible for most mining applications. Today the reliability and speed of computer processing has removed that barrier. Imaging and assay technics have improved, delivering higher throughput and more accurate density measurements have allowed for the processing of smaller particles.
After crushing, Tomra’s sensor-based sorting systems scan each individual rock to determine the extent that it is mineral bearing. Sensors may include any of or a combination of:
- Near-Infrared (NIR) capable of recognizing minerals and ores by their near-infrared spectrum;
- X-ray Transmission (XRT) to recognize ores through their specific atomic density;
- Electromagnetic Sensor (EM) identifying metals and ores through their conductivity and permeability.
Once the desired rocks are identified, the physical sorting process is applied, where the rock is ejected by means of compressed air nozzles.
Minera Alamos intends to use these technologies to significantly increase the grade of mineralized material being mined at Los Verdes. This will result in increased copper production while reducing water, energy and reagent costs.
About Minera Alamos
Minera Alamos is a junior exploration and development company. Its flagship project is the Los Verdes open pit copper-molybdenum project in Sonora, Mexico that is currently in development.
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Minera Alamos Inc.