keywords: Copper, sensor-base, sorting, minerals, pre-concentration, near infrared
Near infrared sensor-based pre-concentrated copper ores were characterized quantitatively and qualitatively for mineralogical and chemical composition using optical microscopy and mineralogical methods (QEMSCAN®, X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and geochemical methods (X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (PXRF) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS).The investigation was carried out towards understanding the satisfactory copper recovery methods based on copper grade. The analysis was done according to the ore category: product, middling and waste. Result obtained showed that the ore contained different minerals and metals in variable concentration according to the ore categories. Chrysocolla was determined to be the dominant copper ore mineral. The elemental concentration of the metals indicated a different pattern which is attributed to the increase in surface area and the analytical technique used. However, a strong correlation between the different analytical techniques was found. This suggests good correlation in the method of analysis. This work revealed the potentials of the application of an automated technique of ore pre-concentration for processing of ore minerals on the basis of mineralogical and chemical content.