Minerals processing has been an integral part of IMP since 1955. Formerly the Institute of Minerals Research, IMP continues to build on its tradition of applied research and development studies in mineral recovery and processing.
Pilot Plant Facility
The backbone of IMP's mineral processing capabilities is its 10,000 sq. ft., 10,000 pounds per hour, multilevel pilot plant. Treatment processes that have been developed by bench-scale batch tests in the laboratory can be verified in a continuous process in the pilot plant. By selecting from over 200 pieces of mineral processing equipment each pilot plant circuit can be designed and tested for a particular benificiation application. The pilot plant is supported by IMP's own analytical laboratories with broad back-up from the research faculty of an engineering university.
Crushers in conjunction with rod, ball, pebble, autogenous and attrition mills are available to reduce 9" ore to as fine as 5 microns. Instrumentation is used in the grinding circuit to measure energy input, slurry flow rate, specific gravity, particle size, feed rate, water addition rate, pH and sump level.
Equipment is available for all physical beneficiating operations including conventional and column flotation, gravity separation, magnetic separation and dewatering. Instrumentation can be provided to control and measure reagent addition, pH, specific gravity and slurry flow rate.
Bench Scale Pilot Plant & Laboratory Facilities
All of the pilot plant activities are strongly supported by laboratory investigations.
Mineralogical studies utilize advanced equipment such as; SEM, EDS, XRD, FTIR, electron microprobe and quantitative image analysis. With these instruments one can determine the mineral phase, association, liberation, and elemental distribution.
Characterization is accomplished by measuring properties such as; zeta potential, thermal analysis, size distributions, surface area, contact angle, porosity, specific gravity, magnetic susceptibility, absorbability and turbidity.
Various physical/chemical beneficiation investigations utilize laboratory facilities for flotation, magnetic separation, electrostatic separation, selective flocculation, gravitational separation and leaching. Effective and efficient process flowsheets are frequently developed by combining the appropriate physical/chemical technologies in bench scale batch tests prior to pilot plant tests.
Many advanced technologies have been developed for industrial clients. Although many of the technologies become the proprietary properties of sponsors, IMP has received a total of 47 Patents in the mineral processing area. This demonstrates the innovative nature of our research and the exemplary effort put forth by our active and responsive research staff.