Remote Real-Time Analyses of Phosphate
LDS earlier constructed and produced an industrial LIBS Machine, which gives on-line analysis of Mg, Fe, Al, Si contents on a moving belt conveyer. It allows real-time shipping and discarding decisions based on sound analytical data. Two such machines are working in the Florida phosphate industry (CF Industries and Mosaic). The goal of this project was to prove the feasibility of a remote real-time analyzer on phosphate mine minerals before they are conveyed to the beneficiation plant. LDS constructed and successfully tested in real field conditions a remote LIBS (ReLIBS) unit capable of phosphate mine mineral analysis from a 5-25 m distance. The ReLIBS device proved the feasibility of distant real-time chemical analysis of phosphate minerals excavated by a dragline and provided differentiation between overburden, matrix and bottom; analysis of the P2O5 content; and analysis of MgO content in matrix samples. The optimal position for the device was found to be the washing pit where the matrix is piled prior to slurrying for transportation to the beneficiation plant.