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Quantitative mineralogical study of ore domains at Bingham Canyon, Utah

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2010, Vol. 328, No. 1, pp. 434-440

Ross, J.K.; Appleby, S.K.; Hoal, K.O.


Understanding ore variability is a key factor in the geometallurgical analysis of a deposit and is beneficial to process development and mine planning. Ore variability is a function of the mineralogy of a deposit, in terms of both ore and gangue minerals and their textural relationships. This study integrates optical microscopy and quantitative mineral analysis to characterize the mineralogy and texture from 13 samples from different lithologic units at the Bingham Canyon Mine. The analysis identified several parameters, such as modal mineralogy, alteration assemblages, distribution of mineral phases and alteration assemblages and microfracture and void space distribution. These parameters can have an impact on the materials’ behavior during processing. This study demonstrates that quantitative mineralogical analysis can provide detailed information for improved understanding of ore variability.