TIMA Automated Mineralogy in Minesite Geology – Value Chain Benefits

Automated mineralogy solutions like the TIMA-X are both relevant and highly beneficial in  geological interpretation and mining operations. The implementation of automated mineralogy gives prior knowledge of feed and helps maintain quality of ore sent to processing facilities.

Mineral alteration map TIMA data

Automated Mineralogy in Minesite Geology Open Cut

Automated mineralogy provides you with quantitative mineralogical analyses as opposed to elemental analyses. This is importance because metallurgical process is optimised for mineral extraction.
It provides the geologist with information including:
  • Quantitative abundance for ore and gangue results provided in excel spread sheets down to 0.01 wt. % levels ready for stockpiling and blending
  • Characterisation of all the minerals in the ore deposit and changing ore zone from foot wall to hanging wall
  • Knowledge of what minerals are being fed into the mill to adjust flotation strategies
  • Use TIMA outputs to correlate core logging and in-pit mapping
  • Determine the extent of elemental substitutions in key minerals e.g. Mn and Fe substitution in Sphalerite affecting flotation perfomance and recoveries

Automated Mineralogy in Minesite Geology Underground

Automated mineralogy can also benefit underground minesite operations by providing:
  • Quantitative abundance results provided in excel spread sheets down to 0.01 wt. % levels ready for process
  • Using mineralogical knowledge, to determine fragmenting and caving characteristics to ensure operator/underground minesite safety e.g. monitor clays and fine mineral that have the potential to cause collapse
  • Integrated geology and alteration mapping to determine ore distributions

Automated Mineralogy in Exploration Geology

Automated mineralogy can be used to create highly precise mineral maps. These maps can provide:
  • Fast, automated definitive results of mineral assemblages provided with instant mineralogy in excel spread sheets ready for modelling.
  • Generate quantitative mineral abundance to 0.01% with textural details
  • Enable paragenetic and crystal morphology studies to decipher the geochronology to target ore zones for purpose of exploration
  • Rapid mapping of rock chips or whole rock slabs down to 0.5 micron on hundreds of samples to generate down-hole mineral profiles
  • Automatic identification of over 60 different mineral species (including sulphides arsenides, feldspars, silicates, oxides and carbonates)
  • Group minerals by lithology
  • Characterise the structure of minerals which helps to determine the sequence of mineral formation


Some examples of how automated mineralogy can be used in mineral mapping include:

  • Enables the observation of gangue and ore minerals in the same sample and of internal structure in some ore minerals  (e.g.sphalerite, tetrahedrite, pyrargyrite)
  • Validate targets generated by geology-geophysics-lithogeochemistry interpretation
  • Best detection limits for Ti phases of rutile-ilmentite for CO2 gradients

Automated Mineralogy Compared to Other Techniques

Traditionally, numerous techniques have been used by geologists to determine the geological makeup of minesites. Provided below is a comparison of the varius techniques that van be used to quantify the mineralogy of minesites.

Elemental (%)
Mineral ID
Mineral (%)
Field Portable
Data Resolution?LowLowLowHigh
Definitive Outputs
Automated Reporting