The 8th LP-SAM* was held on December 13th (Wed), 2017 and managed by Assistant Professor Batnasan Altansukh. Three LP students presented their research results in the field of mineral processing, mineral economics and economic geology as stated below:
Presenter 1: Moses C. Siame (M2)
He is doing research on the removal of silica (SiO2) and alumina (Al2O3) impurities from low grade iron ore from the Sanje mines, Zambia, which contains 48.90 mass% hematite (Fe2O3) with 34.18 mass% iron (Fe) grade, 31.10 mass% SiO2 and 7.65 mass% Al2O3. For the first stage, a wet high-intensity magnetic separation (WHIMS) method using Series L Model 4 laboratory magnetic separator was done and the effect of magnetic separation parameters such as magnetic flux density, particle size density and pulp density of the feed were studied. The results showed that 93.08% of iron oxide with a grade of 53.22 mass% Fe was recovered at optimum magnetic density of 10 T for pipe matrix inside the metal casing of the separator. The concentrate produced from magnetic separation contained 18.08 mass% SiO2 and 4.19 mass% Al2O3, requiring an additional removal process (next stage). Therefore, a combination process of magnetic separation (M process) and reverse flotation (RF process) was carried out in the subsequent stages. The results from the M-RF combination process showed that 81.94% of the iron oxide with 67.27 mass% Fe grade was recovered at the concentrate’s pH of 6.8, using 0.2 kg/t of 0.1% CaO as silica activator and 1 kg/t of 0.1% alkaline starch as iron depressant. Sodium oleate and dodecylamine acetate, each with discrete dosage were used as anionic and cationic collectors, respectively. At an optimum of 0.25 kg/t for both sodium oleate and dodecylamine acetate, Al2O3 was reduced to 1.04 mass% and SiO2 to 2.04 mass% using 0.05 kg/t of methyl isobutyl carbinol frother. The final concentrate contained 67.27 mass% Fe, 2.02 mass% SiO2 and 1.04 mass% Al2O3. His research resulted in high iron recovery (>63 mass% Fe market value) from low grade iron ores that otherwise would have remained unprocessed due to the amount of impurities.
Presenter 2: Newton Malala (M2)
Results from his master’s research on Electricity Generating Resources Portfolio Optimization for Kenya were presented. Energy matters require attention because energy is an essential component of modern life and plays an essential role in living a dignified life. Investment in electricity generation requires immediate consideration because of the different opposing objective that needs addressing while making the investment decisions. Policymakers and investors have to consider the cost of the investments, the reliability of supply of electricity and the environmental concerns when deciding which technologies to put up. Modern portfolio theory, also called the mean-variance optimization theory addresses this shortcoming. Therefore, this study tests the proposition that mean-variance optimization can help meet the above objectives by reducing portfolio costs, promoting investment into renewable energy sources, and promoting diversification. The US historical electricity cost data to generate a covariance matrix and Kenya’s projected electricity-generating cost for different technologies were used to estimate and to develop an efficient frontier for Kenya by applying the mean-variance optimization principles. The results confirm that mean-variance optimization reduces portfolio risk and promotes investment into renewables. It indicates that mean-variance optimization technique encourages diversification. The results further indicate that Kenya’s current generating portfolio is inefficient. The planned 2030 portfolio by the Kenya government and stakeholders is an improvement on the current portfolio but still inefficient. In the 2030 portfolio, the portfolio risk reduces but the return also reduces. On the other hand, his research suggests that investing in geothermal energy shows a high potential to reduce Kenya’s portfolio risk and increase the return.
Presenter 3: Avriel Venis L. Cirineo (D1)
For his PhD research, he reported on the fieldwork conducted on the Southwest Project of the Philex-Padcal Mine, Tuba, Benguet, Philippines between August 13th and September 5th, 2017; and gave details about the project’s exploration history and academic significance, specifically for the Sto. Tomas II – Clifton – Bumolo cluster. The Southwest Project is located at the southwestern periphery of the Sto. Tomas II Orebody and, along with SW Breccia, is part of the larger SW Sto. Tomas II prospect. During a recent “Desert Storm 156”drilling campaign by the mine, the Southwest project showed the most interesting results in terms of geology and copper and gold mineralization. On these terms, he selected 4 drill holes for further examination. In drill hole SW-17-02, he observed phreatomagmatic breccias which contained: (1) dioritic clasts that were cut by sheeted quartz-magnetite veinlets containing copper-iron sulfides, mainly chalcopyrite and bornite; and (2) dioritic clasts that have significant biotite alteration (potassic) and copper-iron-sulfide disseminations. In addition, a stretch of about 69-m showed an interval wherein the phreatomagmatic breccia is cut by a later episode of sheeted quartz-magnetite veinlets and subsequent chlorite stringers, both rich in copper-iron sulfides. This intercept led to the interpretation of a later intrusive stock at depth and, that the mineralized veinlets could have been sourced from this intrusion. The objective of the ongoing drilling program is to discover the source for the porphyry-copper-type veinlets and mineralized diorite clasts. On a larger scale, the aim of his research is to understand the evolution of the Southwest project and compare with the Sto. Tomas II – Bumolo – Clifton cluster, in order to gain a better understanding of the clustering of porphyry copper deposits in the Southern Baguio Mineral District. He is updating his field data with laboratory studies.
*LP-SAM: Leading Program Student Activity Meeting
LP-SAM provides a platform for students of different research backgrounds and professors to interact.It is aimed at developing and sharpening students organization and communication skills in a global environment. At such meetings students share the activities that they are/were engaged in during the course of the academic year. These activities include reports on research progress, field survey, conferences and field trips etc.