You are on page 1of 4

Commercial Ore Sorting

> Ore Sorting Overview

Ore sorting solutions
Ore sorting is a process for upgrading mineral bearing rock Typically, automated sorting systems comprise:-
at large particle sizes, typically between 250mm and 10mm
and involves evaluating the mineral content of individual 1. Material feed bin
rocks as they pass through a sensor then separating them 2. Vibratory feeder
into Accept and Reject fractions, based on pre-determined 3. Free fall or mechanical acceleration
selection criteria. Ore Sorting requires a property specific to 4. Sensor
an ore to be sensed and then optimised for each applica- 5. Data processing
tion. 6. Air compressor
7. Air pressure valves - pneumatic nozzles
Depending on the particle size range of the material being 8. Accept stream
treated ore sorting machines can operate at throughput 9. Reject stream
rates up to 200 tonnes per hour per machine 10. Network interface for central control

It is possible to adjust machine sensitivity and the cut-off Following screening, the material is spread evenly on a
grade for the accept / reject split. This fine tuning gives conveyor or inclined chute and passed through a zone where
flexibility to operating requirements e.g. high upgrade properties of the rock, either natural or induced, are sensed.
ratios or maximum recoveries. These properties most often involve low-level radioactivity
or some property of light, such as reflectance or fluores-
The crushed rock or gravel is screened into size ranges. cence, and other characteristics. For example; diamonds
Sorting devices work most efficiently when the size of the fluoresce when bombarded by x-rays, common salt reflects
largest particles is no greater than two or three times the much light, uranium ores give off gamma rays, and x-ray
size of the smallest particle and there may be number of absorption is directly proportional to atomic density. If a rock
ore sorters in the process plant treating different size particle shows a high enough level of the sensed property, it
fractions. is physically separated from the moving stream of rock
usually by means of a powerful air blast, or an air operated

These identify-and-flick processes all happen in millisec-

onds and computers are essential to automated sorting.
Typical sorting systems process material at rates of 500 to
1000 particles each second. Automated sorting is highly
ore-specific, with different treatments needed for different
minerals, and not all ores can be sorted with today's

The system illustrated below senses some property of each

rock as it passes through the sorter sensors and uses high-
speed digital processing to determine the amount of the
desired mineral, then according to a pre-determined
parameter accepts or rejects the particle.

Diagram of a STEINERT
ISS Sorting System
- increases the
range of possibilities
for sorting mixed materials
Amenability to
For any form of pre-concentration to work, liberation of
valuable minerals from the waste or gangue must occur
easily during the crushing process. If the valuable mineral Fig 1
is finely disseminated throughout the ore, sorting or other Coarse composite minerals
methods of preconcentration may not be possible as it is
necessary to reduce the ore to a size outside the range of
coarse pre-concentration devices to liberate the valuable
mineral from the gangue.

Here are examples of coarse mineral composites (Fig 1),

and a finely disseminated ore (Fig 2) which illustrate this.

Fig 2
Finely disseminated minerals

X-Ray Sorting System - Dual Energy
system to determine material
density while overcoming the
effects of thickness and shape

The STEINERT ISS Sorting System -
separates mineral ores from
gangue to recover valuable metals
STEINERT Elektromagnetbau GmbH Australia/Asia Niederlassungen
Widdersdorfer Strae 329331 STEINERT Australia Pty. Ltd. Branches
50933 Kln 14 Longstaff Road
Germany VIC 3153, Bayswater
Room 1009, Building B,
Phone: +49 221 4984-0 Phone: +61 3 8720-0800
Jinhai Wealth Commercial Centre,
Fax: +49 221 4984-102 Fax: +61 3 8720-0888
Baiziwanxili, Chaoyang District,
E-Mail: E-Mail:
Beijing 100124
Phone: +86 1059694456
Fax: +86 1059694459
STEINERT Japan Co. Ltd
703 President Roppongi
3-2-16, Nishi-Azabu
Tochtergesellschaften Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0031
Subsidiaries Japan Singapore
Phone: +81 3-6804-5607 STEINERT Asia
RTT STEINERT GmbH Fax: +81 3-6804-5608 33 Maude Road #02-01
Hirschfelder Ring 9 E-Mail: Singapore 208344
D-02763 Zittau Phone: +65 62939556
Germany Fax: +65 62988231
Phone: +49 3583 540-840 South America E-Mail:
Fax: +49 3583 540-8444 STEINERT Latinoamericana Ltda.
E-Mail: Av. Herclito Mouro de Miranda, 2080 Bairro Castelo
31330-382 Belo Horizonte
North America Brazil
IMS Engineering (Pty) Ltd
STEINERT US Inc. Phone: +55 31 3372-7560
10 Derrick Road, Spartan
285 Shorland Drive Fax: +55 31 3372-6995
Kempton Park, 1620
Walton, KY 41094 E-Mail:
Republic of South Africa
Phone: +27 10 001 8200
Phone: +1 800 595-4014
Fax: +27 11 970 3200
Fax: +1 800 511-8714

Subject to technical modifications.

Your local STEINERT consultant: