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Minerals, Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2012), Pages 258-515

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle An Overview of Optimizing Strategies for Flotation Banks
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 258-271; doi:10.3390/min2040258
Received: 4 July 2012 / Revised: 23 August 2012 / Accepted: 12 September 2012 / Published: 10 October 2012
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Abstract
A flotation bank is a serial arrangement of cells. How to optimally operate a bank remains a challenge. This article reviews three reported strategies: air profiling, mass-pull (froth velocity) profiling and Peak Air Recovery (PAR) profiling. These are all ways of manipulating [...] Read more.
A flotation bank is a serial arrangement of cells. How to optimally operate a bank remains a challenge. This article reviews three reported strategies: air profiling, mass-pull (froth velocity) profiling and Peak Air Recovery (PAR) profiling. These are all ways of manipulating the recovery profile down a bank, which may be the property being exploited. Mathematical analysis has shown that a flat cell-by-cell recovery profile maximizes the separation of two floatable minerals for a given target bank recovery when the relative floatability is constant down the bank. Available bank survey data are analyzed with respect to recovery profiling. Possible variations on recovery profile to minimize entrainment are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing)
Open AccessArticle EDEEP—An Innovative Process for Improving the Safety of Mining Equipment
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 272-282; doi:10.3390/min2040272
Received: 10 September 2012 / Revised: 21 September 2012 / Accepted: 25 September 2012 / Published: 15 October 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (455 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Fifteen multi-national mining companies are currently members of the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT). Formed in 2006, EMESRT engages with mining equipment manufacturers with the aim of accelerating improvements in the safe design of mining equipment. An initial stage in [...] Read more.
Fifteen multi-national mining companies are currently members of the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT). Formed in 2006, EMESRT engages with mining equipment manufacturers with the aim of accelerating improvements in the safe design of mining equipment. An initial stage in this process was to communicate industry understanding of the risks in the form of “design philosophies” that describe potential unwanted events in eight hazard categories. A technique for analysing risks associated with operation and maintenance tasks, the Operability and Maintainability Analysis Technique (OMAT), was subsequently developed and trialed. The next step is the EMESRT Design Evaluation for Equipment Procurement (EDEEP) process. The aims of requesting manufacturers to follow this process are to provide equipment purchasers with a common way of assessing how well the issues in the EMESRT Design Philosophies are addressed in the equipment design; and to provide manufacturers with additional information for use during equipment design. The process involves identifying priority tasks based on frequency and severity of the consequences of potential unwanted events identified in the EMESRT Design Philosophies; undertaking a task-based risk assessment of priority tasks in conjunction with site-based personnel; evaluating the effectiveness of control measures; and providing information about safe design features in a standardised format. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety & Health in Mining)
Open AccessArticle Transmission X-ray Microscopy—A New Tool in Clay Mineral Floccules Characterization
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 283-299; doi:10.3390/min2040283
Received: 11 July 2012 / Revised: 5 September 2012 / Accepted: 21 September 2012 / Published: 18 October 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (674 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Effective flocculation and dewatering of mineral processing streams containing clays are microstructure dependent in clay-water systems. Initial clay flocculation is crucial in the design and for the development of a new methodology of gas exploitation. Microstructural engineering of clay aggregates using covalent [...] Read more.
Effective flocculation and dewatering of mineral processing streams containing clays are microstructure dependent in clay-water systems. Initial clay flocculation is crucial in the design and for the development of a new methodology of gas exploitation. Microstructural engineering of clay aggregates using covalent cations and Keggin macromolecules have been monitored using the new state of the art Transmission X-ray Microscope (TXM) with 60 nm tomography resolution installed in a Taiwanese synchrotron. The 3-D reconstructions from TXM images show complex aggregation structures in montmorillonite aqueous suspensions after treatment with Na+, Ca2+ and Al13 Keggin macromolecules. Na-montmorillonite displays elongated, parallel, well-orientated and closed-void cellular networks, 0.5–3 µm in diameter. After treatment by covalent cations, the coagulated structure displays much smaller, randomly orientated and openly connected cells, 300–600 nm in diameter. The average distances measured between montmorillonite sheets was around 450 nm, which is less than half of the cell dimension measured in Na-montmorillonite. The most dramatic structural changes were observed after treatment by Al13 Keggin; aggregates then became arranged in compacted domains of a 300 nm average diameter composed of thick face-to-face oriented sheets, which forms porous aggregates with larger intra-aggregate open and connected voids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing)
Open AccessArticle Major- and Trace-Element Compositions of Indicator Minerals that Occur as Macro- and Megacrysts, and of Xenoliths, from Kimberlites in Northeastern Angola
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 318-337; doi:10.3390/min2040318
Received: 30 August 2012 / Revised: 22 September 2012 / Accepted: 28 September 2012 / Published: 26 October 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2579 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this study, we compare the major- and trace-element compositions of olivine, garnet, and clinopyroxene that occur as single crystals (142 grains), with those derived from xenoliths (51 samples) from six kimberlites in the Lucapa area, northeastern Angola: Tchiuzo, Anomaly 116, Catoca, [...] Read more.
In this study, we compare the major- and trace-element compositions of olivine, garnet, and clinopyroxene that occur as single crystals (142 grains), with those derived from xenoliths (51 samples) from six kimberlites in the Lucapa area, northeastern Angola: Tchiuzo, Anomaly 116, Catoca, Alto Cuilo-4, Alto Cuilo-63 and Cucumbi-79. The samples were analyzed using electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) and laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). The results suggest different paragenetic associations for these kimberlites in the Lucapa area. Compositional overlap in some of the macrocryst and mantle xenolith samples indicates a xenocrystic origin for some of those macrocrysts. The presence of mantle xenocrysts suggests the possibility of finding diamond. Geothermobarometric calculations were carried out using EPMA data from xenoliths by applying the program PTEXL.XLT. Additional well calibrated single-clinopyroxene thermobarometric calculations were also applied. Results indicate the underlying mantle experienced different equilibration conditions. Subsequent metasomatic enrichment events also support a hypothesis of different sources for the kimberlites. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the petrogenetic evolution of the kimberlites in northeastern Angola and have important implications for diamond exploration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Economic Minerals)
Open AccessArticle Platinum-Group Minerals in Chromitites of the Niquelândia Layered Intrusion (Central Goias, Brazil): Their Magmatic Origin and Low-Temperature Reworking during Serpentinization and Lateritic Weathering
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 365-384; doi:10.3390/min2040365
Received: 3 September 2012 / Revised: 19 October 2012 / Accepted: 19 October 2012 / Published: 30 October 2012
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Abstract
A variety of platinum-group-minerals (PGM) have been found to occur associated with the chromitite and dunite layers in the Niquelândia igneous complex. Two genetically distinct populations of PGM have been identified corresponding to phases crystallized at high temperatures (primary), and others formed [...] Read more.
A variety of platinum-group-minerals (PGM) have been found to occur associated with the chromitite and dunite layers in the Niquelândia igneous complex. Two genetically distinct populations of PGM have been identified corresponding to phases crystallized at high temperatures (primary), and others formed or modified during post-magmatic serpentinization and lateritic weathering (secondary). Primary PGM have been found in moderately serpentinized chromitite and dunite, usually included in fresh chromite grains or partially oxidized interstitial sulfides. Due to topographically controlled lateritic weathering, the silicate rocks are totally transformed to a smectite-kaolinite-garnierite-amorphous silica assemblage, while the chromite is changed into a massive aggregate of a spinel phase having low-Mg and a low Fe3+/Fe2+ ratio, intimately associated with Ti-minerals, amorphous Fe-hydroxides, goethite, hematite and magnetite. The PGM in part survive alteration, and in part are corroded as a result of deep chemical weathering. Laurite is altered to Ru-oxides or re-crystallizes together with secondary Mg-ilmenite. Other PGM, especially the Pt-Fe alloys, re-precipitate within the altered chromite together with kaolinite and Fe-hydroxides. Textural evidence suggests that re-deposition of secondary PGM took place during chromite alteration, controlled by variation of the redox conditions on a microscopic scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Economic Minerals)
Open AccessArticle Geology and Age Constraints on the Origin of the Intrusion-Related, Sheeted Vein-Type Åkerberg Gold Deposit, Skellefte District, Sweden
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 385-416; doi:10.3390/min2040385
Received: 11 September 2012 / Revised: 21 October 2012 / Accepted: 23 October 2012 / Published: 31 October 2012
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Abstract
The Early Proterozoic (~1.9 Ga) Skellefte mining district in northern Sweden hosts abundant base metal deposits, but there are also gold-only deposits. The Åkerberg gold ore is unusual given the noted lack of alteration, a scarcity of sulfides and gold associated with [...] Read more.
The Early Proterozoic (~1.9 Ga) Skellefte mining district in northern Sweden hosts abundant base metal deposits, but there are also gold-only deposits. The Åkerberg gold ore is unusual given the noted lack of alteration, a scarcity of sulfides and gold associated with thin (mm-cm wide) parallel quartz veins hosted in a gabbro. The gold content is positively correlated with the density of quartz veins, but gold often occurs between veins and also in parts of the gabbro where there is no veining. The gabbro is intruded by a granodiorite and associated pegmatite bodies, and U-Pb dating of zircon and baddeleyite suggest that these lithologies developed close in time at around 1.88 Ga ago. There are no primary inclusions in quartz veins, but different types of secondary aqueous inclusions occur. The Åkerberg ore is interpreted as a sheeted vein complex, with veins constrained to tensional cracks induced when a granodioritic magma intruded the competent, sheet-like gabbro intrusion. It is suggested that unmixing of the felsic magma also produced pegmatite bodies and a gel-like melt which invaded fractures in the gabbro and deposited silica. In a comparison, the Åkerberg ore shares many characteristics with the intrusion-related style of gold mineralizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Economic Minerals)
Open AccessArticle Indium-Carrier Minerals in Polymetallic Sulphide Ore Deposits: A Crystal Chemical Insight into an Indium Binding State Supported by X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy Data
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 426-434; doi:10.3390/min2040426
Received: 28 August 2012 / Revised: 17 October 2012 / Accepted: 18 October 2012 / Published: 6 November 2012
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Abstract
Indium is a typical chalcophile element of the Earth’s crust, with a very low average content that seldom forms specific minerals, occurring mainly as dispersed in polymetallic sulphides. Indium recovery is based primarily on zinc extraction from sphalerite, the prototype of so-called [...] Read more.
Indium is a typical chalcophile element of the Earth’s crust, with a very low average content that seldom forms specific minerals, occurring mainly as dispersed in polymetallic sulphides. Indium recovery is based primarily on zinc extraction from sphalerite, the prototype of so-called tetrahedral sulphides, wherein metal ions fill half of the available tetrahedral sites within the cubic closest packing of sulphur anions, leaving interstices accessible for further in-filling. Ascertaining the tendency towards the establishment of In-In interactions through an x-ray absorption spectroscopy approach would efficiently contribute to understanding the behavior of indium in the carrier mineral. The successful results of applying such a near-edge absorption (XANES) study at In L3-edge to samples collected at the Lagoa Salgada polymetallic orebody in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB) are described and the crystal chemistry of indium is re-evaluated, disclosing a potential clue for the metal binding state in polymetallic sulphides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Economic Minerals)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Water- and Boron-Rich Melt Inclusions in Quartz from the Malkhan Pegmatite, Transbaikalia, Russia
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 435-458; doi:10.3390/min2040435
Received: 16 August 2012 / Revised: 24 October 2012 / Accepted: 25 October 2012 / Published: 15 November 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (926 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper we show that the pegmatite-forming processes responsible for the formation of the Malkhan pegmatites started at magmatic temperatures around 720 °C. The primary melts or supercritical fluids were very water- and boron-rich (maximum values of about 10% (g/g) B [...] Read more.
In this paper we show that the pegmatite-forming processes responsible for the formation of the Malkhan pegmatites started at magmatic temperatures around 720 °C. The primary melts or supercritical fluids were very water- and boron-rich (maximum values of about 10% (g/g) B2O3) and over the temperature interval from 720 to 600 °C formed a pseudobinary solvus, indicated by the coexistence of two types of primary melt inclusions (type-A and type-B) representing a pair of conjugate melts. Due to the high water and boron concentration the pegmatite-forming melts are metastable and can be characterized either as genuine melts or silicate-rich fluids. This statement is underscored by Raman spectroscopic studies. This study suggested that the gel state proposed by some authors cannot represent the main stage of the pegmatite-forming processes in the Malkhan pegmatites, and probably in all others. However there are points in the evolution of the pegmatites where the gel- or gel-like state has left traces in form of real gel inclusions in some mineral in the Malkhan pegmatite, however only in a late, fluid dominated stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Economic Minerals)
Open AccessArticle A Study of the Effect of Djurliete, Bornite and Chalcopyrite during the Dissolution of Gold with a Solution of Ammonia-Cyanide
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 459-472; doi:10.3390/min2040459
Received: 25 July 2012 / Revised: 28 September 2012 / Accepted: 18 October 2012 / Published: 20 November 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (330 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The high solubility of copper sulphide minerals is an issue in the cyanidation of gold ores. The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of individual copper sulphide minerals on the Hunt process, which showed advantages over cyanidation. High purity [...] Read more.
The high solubility of copper sulphide minerals is an issue in the cyanidation of gold ores. The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of individual copper sulphide minerals on the Hunt process, which showed advantages over cyanidation. High purity djurleite, bornite and chalcopyrite, with a P70 of 70–74 microns, were mixed with fine quartz and gold powder (3–8 micron) to obtain a copper concentration of 0.3%. The ammonia-cyanide leaching of slurry with djurleite proved to be more effective than cyanidation; producing comparable extraction of gold (99%), while reducing the cyanide consumption from 5.8 to 1.2 kg/t NaCN. Lead nitrate improved the Hunt leaching. The lower cyanide consumption is associated to a significant reduction of copper dissolved. XPS surface analysis of djurleite showed that lead nitrate favored the formation of Cu(OH)2 species. Lead was also detected on the surface (oxide or hydroxide). Sulphide and copper compounds (cyanide and sulphide) were reaction products responsible for inhibiting the dissolution of gold. Lead nitrate added in the Hunt leaching of bornite produced 99% gold extraction. Surface reaction products were similar to djurleite. The cyanide consumption (~4.4 kg/t NaCN) was not reduced by the addition of ammonia. Cyanidation of chalcopyrite showed a lower consumption of cyanide 0.33 kg/t NaCN compared to 0.21 kg/t NaCN for Hunt. No significant interferences were observed in gold leaching with a slurry containing chalcopyrite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Sludge Amendment on Remediation of Metal Contaminated Soils
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 473-492; doi:10.3390/min2040473
Received: 24 October 2012 / Revised: 16 November 2012 / Accepted: 20 November 2012 / Published: 28 November 2012
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Abstract
Column-leaching and pilot-scale experiments were conducted to evaluate the use of biosolids (sewage sludges) to control the mobilization of metals from contaminated soils with smelting slags. The pilot-scale experiments using amended soils showed that Cu, Pb and Sb were retained, decreasing their [...] Read more.
Column-leaching and pilot-scale experiments were conducted to evaluate the use of biosolids (sewage sludges) to control the mobilization of metals from contaminated soils with smelting slags. The pilot-scale experiments using amended soils showed that Cu, Pb and Sb were retained, decreasing their concentrations from 250 mg/L, 80 mg/L and 6 mg/L, respectively in the leachates of contaminated soils, to <20 mg/L, 40 mg/L and 4 mg/L, respectively, in the amended material. Hydrogeochemical modeling of the leachates using Minteq revealed that the degree of complexation of Cu rose 56.3% and 57.6% in leachates of amended soils. Moreover, Cu may be immobilized by biosolids, possibly via adsorption by oxyhydroxides of Fe or sorption by organic matter. The partial retention of Pb coincides with the possible precipitation of chloropyromorphite, which is the most stable mineral phase in the pH-Eh conditions of the leachates from the amended material. The retention of Sb may be associated with the precipitation of Sb2O3, which is the most stable mineral phase in the experimental conditions. The organic amendments used in this study increased some metal and metalloid concentrations in the leachates (Fe, Mn, Ni, As and Se), which suggests that the organic amendments could be used with caution to remediate metal contaminated areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Adsorption of n-Octanohydroxamate Collector on Cu and Fe Oxide Minerals Investigated by Static Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 493-515; doi:10.3390/min2040493
Received: 12 September 2012 / Revised: 26 November 2012 / Accepted: 4 December 2012 / Published: 10 December 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (437 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The feasibility of investigating the adsorption of n-octanohydroxamate collector on copper and iron oxide minerals with static secondary ion mass spectrometry has been assessed. Secondary ion mass spectra were determined for abraded surfaces of air-exposed copper metal, malachite, pseudomalachite and magnetite [...] Read more.
The feasibility of investigating the adsorption of n-octanohydroxamate collector on copper and iron oxide minerals with static secondary ion mass spectrometry has been assessed. Secondary ion mass spectra were determined for abraded surfaces of air-exposed copper metal, malachite, pseudomalachite and magnetite that had been conditioned in aqueous potassium hydrogen n-octanohydroxamate solution, as well as for the corresponding bulk CuII and FeIII complexes. In each case, the chemical species present at the solid/vacuum interface of a similarly prepared surface were established by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The most abundant positive and negative metal-containing fragment ions identified for the bulk complexes were also found to be diagnostic secondary ions for the collector adsorbed on the oxide surfaces. The relative abundances of those diagnostic ions varied with, and could be rationalised by, the monolayer or multilayer coverage of the adsorbed collector. However, the precise mass values for the diagnostic ions were not able to corroborate the different bonding in the copper and iron hydroxamate systems that had been deduced from photoelectron and vibrational spectra. Parent secondary ions were able to provide supporting information on the co-adsorption of hydroxamic acid at each conditioned surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Geological, Mineralogical and Geochemical Aspects for Critical and Rare Metals in Greece
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 300-317; doi:10.3390/min2040300
Received: 4 September 2012 / Revised: 9 October 2012 / Accepted: 10 October 2012 / Published: 19 October 2012
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Abstract
The European Union (EU) is highly dependent on critical and rare metals which are very important for a sustainable development. However, European industry is not able to cover its demands from native sources and it imports commodities from third countries. Greece is [...] Read more.
The European Union (EU) is highly dependent on critical and rare metals which are very important for a sustainable development. However, European industry is not able to cover its demands from native sources and it imports commodities from third countries. Greece is one of the EU countries with the most potential for supplying these strategic metallic raw materials in the future, since it hosts a large number of ore deposits. The epithermal- and porphyry-type deposits and the reduced intrusion related systems of the Serbomacedonian and the Rhodope metallogenic provinces in Northeastern Greece are promising targets for a future exploitation and exploration in Sb, Te, Mo, Re, Ga, In, REE and PGE. Greece is the leading producer of Ni and Al in the EU from laterites and bauxites of central and northern Greece. These deposits also contain significant amounts of Co or REE which should be considered in the future plans of the processing industries. REE are found in high contents at the placer deposits between Chalkidiki and Kavala (North Greece) and elevated PGE concentrations are associated with the chromitites of northwestern Greece. Therefore, the mineral wealth of Greece can contribute significantly to a sustainable and a competitive economy of Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Economic Minerals)
Open AccessReview Cyanobacteria as Biocatalysts for Carbonate Mineralization
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 338-364; doi:10.3390/min2040338
Received: 20 March 2012 / Revised: 5 September 2012 / Accepted: 26 September 2012 / Published: 29 October 2012
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (543 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microbial carbonate mineralization is widespread in nature and among microorganisms, and of vast ecological and geological importance. However, our understanding of the mechanisms that trigger and control processes such as calcification, i.e., mineralization of CO2 to calcium carbonate (CaCO3 [...] Read more.
Microbial carbonate mineralization is widespread in nature and among microorganisms, and of vast ecological and geological importance. However, our understanding of the mechanisms that trigger and control processes such as calcification, i.e., mineralization of CO2 to calcium carbonate (CaCO3), is limited and literature on cyanobacterial calcification is oftentimes bewildering and occasionally controversial. In cyanobacteria, calcification may be intimately associated with the carbon dioxide-(CO2) concentrating mechanism (CCM), a biochemical system that allows the cells to raise the concentration of CO2 at the site of the carboxylating enzyme ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) up to 1000-fold over that in the surrounding medium. A comprehensive understanding of biologically induced carbonate mineralization is important for our ability to assess its role in past, present, and future carbon cycling, interpret paleontological data, and for evaluating the process as a means for biological carbon capture and storage (CCS). In this review we summarize and discuss the metabolic, physiological and structural features of cyanobacteria that may be involved in the reactions leading to mineral formation and precipitation, present a conceptual model of cyanobacterial calcification, and, finally, suggest practical applications for cyanobacterial carbonate mineralization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biominerals)
Open AccessReview The Health and Safety Benefits of New Technologies in Mining: A Review and Strategy for Designing and Deploying Effective User-Centred Systems
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 417-425; doi:10.3390/min2040417
Received: 28 September 2012 / Revised: 15 October 2012 / Accepted: 19 October 2012 / Published: 31 October 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (409 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mining is currently experiencing a rapid growth in the development and uptake of automation and other new technologies (such as collision detection systems); however, they are often developed from a technology-centred perspective that does not explicitly consider the end-user. This paper first [...] Read more.
Mining is currently experiencing a rapid growth in the development and uptake of automation and other new technologies (such as collision detection systems); however, they are often developed from a technology-centred perspective that does not explicitly consider the end-user. This paper first presents a review of the technologies currently available (or near-market) and the likely human factors issues associated with them. The second part of the paper presents a potential long term strategy for research and development that aims to maximise the safety and health benefits for operators of such new technologies. The strategy includes a four stage research and development process, this covers: better understanding the needs for technology, user requirements and risk/cost analysis; human element design, procurement and deployment processes; evaluation and verification of the strategy; and dissemination of it to relevant stakeholders (including equipment manufacturers, mine site purchasers and regulators). The paper concludes by stressing the importance of considering the human element with respect to new mining technologies and the likely benefits of adopting the type of strategy proposed here. The overall vision is for mining to become safer and healthier through effective user-centred design and deployment of new technologies that serve both operator needs and the demands of the workplace. Full article

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