Metallurgy / Mineralogy 


Mineralogical studies are critical to successful geological exploration and the processing of ores. This is why Bureau Veritas’s metallurgical division offers a full range of services, from the early exploration phase through scoping, pre-feasibility, and feasibility studies. We use a combination of conventional and newly-developed technologies to meet the specific needs of our customers, delivering the highest expertise in the evaluation of precious metals, base metals, industrial minerals, and environmental/productions aspects. Our analytical capabilities include: Bulk mineralogical analysis (BMA), particle mineralogical analysis (PMA), trace mineral search (TMS), FieldScan (FS) using QEMSCAN, MLA Express, and optical mineralogy for both thin and polished sections.

Our Other Metallurgy / Mineralogy Services Include:

  • Mineral Processing 
    Our Mineral Processing Laboratories are fully equipped to perform all metallurgical investigations from bench scale to demonstration tests. The focus is on developing a practical and economical flow sheet for plant operation, whether it is by adapting known technologies to new situations or by developing a new process.
  • Hydrometallurgy 
    Our laboratory facilities are fully equipped to conduct a wide range of hydrometallurgical and bio-hydrometallurgical studies to recover valuable constituents from concentrates or raw minerals, using methods based on mass chemistry, where one or more of the mineral structures are changed, in an aqueous environment. Previous projects have ranged from the recovery of valuable metals from steel furnace dust, gold and silver extraction from refractory minerals, to heap leaching and solvent extraction of copper. These include the full scale up from individual batch tests through continuous bench tests to commercial-sized pilot plant reactors.
    Testing capabilities include:
    •   Cyanidation studies (Merrill Crowe, CIP and CIL procedures •   Diagnostic / sequential leaching •   Bio-oxidation of refractory gold ores and concentrates
    •   Pressure leaching •   Solvent extraction •   Biological leaching of base metal ores and concentrates
    •   Bottle roll and tank leaching •   Ion exchange •   Biological heap leach simulation
    •   Counter current closed circuit tank leaching •   Electrowinning •   Cyanide and ammonia detoxification
    •   Column leaching up to one-meter diameter (8 tonnes) •   Differential precipitation •   Galvanox copper recovery process, four-reactor pilot plant with elutriator & thickener
  • Bankable Feasibilities
    Bureau Veritas Minerals is well recognized in the mining industry for value-added input and quality work. The Metallurgical Division is fully qualified to complete “bankability” testing and mill design. Over the past 28 years, our group has provided this level of service to many of the major mining engineering firms working within the mining industry. Our independence, reliability and accountability are firmly established.
  • Pilot Plants
    A complete ore treatment pilot plant, consisting of crushing – continuous grinding - gravity concentration – rougher/cleaner flotation - tailing thickening, can be assembled for any circuit combination, with throughput ranging from 1 to 5 tonnes per day, depending on ore hardness.
  • Metallurgical Assaying 
  • Environmental Testing
    Bureau Veritas provides comprehensive environmental testing to support the mining lifecycle from exploration to closure and reclamation, and can provide analytical support for routine and baseline water quality monitoring work, and determining levels of metals, inorganic and organic contamination in animal and plant tissue, soil and surface and groundwater samples. 
    •   Deleterious substances •   Ultratrace metals analysis
    •   Routine water quality monitoring including permit stations, wastewater treatment plant (effluent/influent), tailings pond characterization, and monitoring wells •  Effluent analysis as per the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (MDMER)
    •   Specialized studies in mercury and selenium, in water and in fish tissue •   Soil and water analysis in support of baseline monitoring projects
  • Mineralogy and Petrography
    Mineralogical studies are critical to successful geological exploration and the processing of ores.
    Bulk Mineral Analysis (BMA)
    This investigation is a one-dimensional linear analysis of point counting that provides a fast, basic study of mineral deportment.
    •    Complete mineral composition and deportment
    •    Elemental deportment
    •    Mineral association, liberation & grain size
    Particle Article Analysis (PMA)
    A two-dimensional mapping analysis that provides in-depth data for investigative purposes such as flotation or leaching process.
    •    Complete mineral composition
    •    Elemental deportment
    •    Mineral liberation and associations by size
    •    Effect of primary grind on mineral liberation
    •    Limiting grade recovery curves for the elements of interest
    Trace Mineral Search (TMS)
    TMS is a refinement of the PMA scan but only measures a sub-population of the particles based on a backscattered electron intensity
    threshold value.
    •    Target mineral (gold/silver/PGM/Bi/W/Mo) grain size
    •    Target elemental distribution across bearing minerals
    •    Mineral grain size and size distribution
    •    Mineral liberation and association
    •    Mineral locking characteristics
    Diagnosis of Metallurgical Performance
    Using the combined methods of QEMSCAN/MLA analysis to determine the sources that caused contamination in the final concentrates
    and the loss of target metals into the tailings in plant operations or metallurgical tests.
    •    Efficiency of primary grind and regrinding on the target mineral liberations
    •    The quality of final concentrates
    •    Status of the target minerals lost into the tailings
    •    Target mineral recovery by process streams, by mineral association class and by particle size
    •    Evaluation of potential improvement in the concentrate quality and metal recovery of plant operations or metallurgical test work