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Digital Mineralogy Hub Facility

The Digital Mineralogy Hub Facility hosts a Tescan Integrated Mineral Analyzer (TIMA GM) – a fully automated, high throughput, analytical Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) for analysis of sample composition and morphology.

TIMA measures modal abundance, size-by-size liberation, mineral association, and performs PGM search automatically on multiple samples of grain mounts and thin or polished sections.

Techniques

  • Fast and fully-automated data acquisition process reached via SEM and EDX integration.
TIMA 1/3

TIMA 1/3

The TESCAN TIMA is designed with a computer controlled stage that carries a specially designed mineralogical sample holder. It allows inserting up to 22 resin blocks with a diameter of 30 mm or 9 thin sections at the same time. In the center of the holder, an EDX/BSE calibration standard is placed for automatic signal calibration and system performance checks.

 


TIMA 2/3

TIMA 2/3

The TIMA is equipped with an ultra-fast YAG scintillator BSE detector, complemented with four silicon drift EDX detectors in analytical geometry to cover maximum solid angle of X-ray data acquisition for high throughput analysis. Collection of EDX data is synchronized with a scanning system and BSE signal acquisition using integrated hardware.


TIMA 3/3

TIMA 3/3

An SE Everhart-Thornley type detector and Cathodoluminescence detector are available for complementary configurations and analysis. A chamber view camera facilitates manipulation with samples in the chamber.

 

Electron microscopy

Sample Preparation Laboratory

The DMH has a suite of equipment that facilitates vacuum mount impregnation and manual and automated polishing that is often required to prepare samples for electron microscopy.

 


Applications

The TIMA solution addresses applications such as mineral liberation analysis, process optimization, remediation, and search for precious metals and rare earths.

  • Mineral mapping
  • Element mapping
  • Fast and automated SEM-EDS data collection
  • Grain locking analysis
Element mapping
Element mapping