A practical and engaging environment is at the heart of all our programmes, ensuring our students are learning using industry standard technologies, equipping them with relevant skills for their future endeavors. CSM frequently collaborates with leading industry organisations, providing a variety of services and courses to aid research and business development. Further information of our services and courses can be found under the business section of this website. Within CSM there is a vibrant and active research community, who have access to our facilities to undertake pioneering research in their respective fields. Those seeking to conduct research at CSM can utilise our resources to tackle leading issues, and develop solutions within the mining lifecycle industry. The combination and scope of our facilities enables thorough research projects to be undertaken all in the same location, making CSM an ideal location for business, education and research.
Chemical, imaging and mineralogical facility (CIMF)
This laboratory focuses on the analysis of chemical elements in inorganic materials. Due to the variety of equipment available, both spot (analysing a small area) and bulk (analysing a large area, or whole sample) methods are possible, allowing a comprehensive analysis of a variety of natural and synthetic compounds.
All analytical facilities are available for educational, research and commercial purposes.
The electron-probe microanalyser (EPMA) is an advanced instrument used for spot analysis, element mapping and to characterise the chemical composition of minerals and materials at the micron scale. The high resolution, low background and automation of the instrument enable analysis to be reliable, quick and precise.
Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS)
ICP-MS can detect a full suite of chemical elements (Li to U) in a single multi-element sample.
Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer (LA-ICP-MS)
LA-ICP-MS is designed to measure in-situ chemical elements by ablating (removal and dissipating by melting) a spot or line from a solid sample using a laser. The material can then be analysed using ICP-MS, to measure chemical elements.
Nikon Eclipse E600 Pol microscope
A reflected and transmitted light microscope with an instant image capture through a Nikon Digital Sight 5MP camera. Its purpose is to examine, in great detail, thin layers and polished block samples.
Wild Heerbrugg binocular microscope
An optical microscope with optional attached JVC digital camera. It is typically used to examine loose soils, concentrates, micro-fossils or three dimensional surfaces that require low power microscope examination.
Cold Cathodoluminescence microscope (CITL CCL 8200 MK3)
An optical microscope with attached JVC digital camera. It is used to examine samples prepared as polished thin sections to study the luminescence characteristics of for example, carbonates, quartz and feldspars for crystal and cement development phases.
Fluid inclusion microscope (Zeiss AX10 scope A1 microscope)
An optical microscope with a specialist stage for examining specially prepared samples that contain fluid inclusions. Fluid inclusions are microscopic pockets of liquid or gas trapped in a mineral, which provides information on the physical & chemical conditions of the rock when it formed. The stage is able to cool and heat a sample to examine the behaviour of these inclusions. An additional feature is an attached camera that directly feeds into a computer, allowing for further analysis to be conducted via computer if required.
The QEMSCAN® is an automated SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) that is used to identify minerals and inorganic chemical compounds in a sample. Measurement of a sample is automated and the identification of minerals from each chemical spectra is achieved by comparing it to a mineral/phase database.
X-ray diffraction (XRD)
The XRD is used to qualitatively examine the bulk mineralogy of powdered samples based on crystallography. The instrument has databases that can be used to examine mineral, inorganic and organic phases.
X-ray fluorescence (XRF)
XRF provides bulk chemistry or elemental analysis for powdered samples. It has the ability to determine the presence/and or concentrations of elements in a sample, such as rock or soil samples.
Surveying equipment is essential in a variety of fields such as mapping, construction, civil law and transport. Our surveying equipment is available for educational and commercial purposes such as civil engineering, geotechnical engineering and the minerals and mining industry.
Total stations are electronic optical theodolites (instrument that measures angles) combined with laser distance meters. They are fundamental pieces of surveying equipment that are used in all aspects of surveying. At CSM we have the following models of total stations:
Please contact Sam Hughes for further information.
Laser scanning is a popular tool for collecting vast amounts of precise geospatial data in minimal time. Rapid and precise recording and calculation of surveying measurements is a crucial component of executing mining, quarrying and land surveying operations. These cutting-edge pieces of equipment gather geospatial data, enabling the users to rapidly construct accurate 3D computer models in detail. At CSM we have the following scanners:
Please contact Matt Eyre for further information.
High-precision GNSS receivers
These pieces of equipment are designed in mind to make previously challenging areas to reach accessible and possible to measure. They utilise satellite navigation systems to provide accurate positioning. At CSM we have the following models of high-precision GNSS receivers:
Trimble R10 Smart Rover
Please contact Neil Wood for further information.
Within surveying gyroscopes are used to determine the true orientation of a chosen area, as accurate measurement of direction and location is highly important within the mining lifecycle industry. At CSM we have the DMT Gyromat 2000 gyroscope.
Please contact Andy Wetherelt for additonal information.
Minerals engineering is the process of separating valuable minerals from the non-valuable rock in which they are found. There are a variety of mineral processing methods, and CSM is home to a dedicated minerals engineering laboratory, which houses a wide range of equipment used to support research, teaching and industry in the mining and minerals field. Our laboratory specialises in the physical separation of minerals as well as other materials and features a wide range of equipment available for educational, research and commercial purposes.
All samples can be submitted for geo-chemical and mineralogical analysis in the Chemical, imaging and mineralogical laboratory.
Please contact Rob Fitzpatrick for further information about our Minerals Engineering facilities and capabilities.
In nature different minerals exist in an interlocking state forming a rock mass. In order to separate valuable minerals from non-valuable components, the rock mass must be broken down to physically liberate the valuable minerals from its interlocked state. This process is known as comminution.
Comminution is typically practiced through crushing and grinding. Our laboratory contains crushers including a jaw, cone, rolls and hammer impact crusher as well as both batch and continuous rod and ball grinding mills. A Bond ball mill is available to determine the Grindability of mineral samples.
The sizing process involves organising and separating particles in accordance of their size. The laboratory is equipped with a range of sieves, screens, lasers and hydrocyclones enabling a diverse selection of materials to be sized, through the use of a variety of facilities.
Froth flotation works by exploiting differences in the hydrophobicity (relative attractiveness to water) by mixing the particles in water and injecting bubbles of air. Hydrophobic (water repellent) particles attach to air bubbles which are collected whilst hydrophilic (water attracting) particles do not. Careful addition of chemicals allows for the surface chemistry of specific minerals to be altered to behave hydrophobically. The major areas of application for flotation are in base metal separation and some industrial minerals. The technique can also be applied to remediation of soil and plastics recycling.
We can undertake a programme of batch-scale tests on a number of minerals, and through our combined staff expertise and experience, we can advise on appropriate methods and chemical regimes for the practice.
Sensor based automated sorting
This process utilises one or more sensors to measure the properties of a particle. These measurements are used to classify particles into different types. The particles are then separated by means of an external force such as a compressed air jet or ejection paddle. Our equipment can measure and refine optical data, such as colour, shape and size, measure relative conductivity and filter specific wavelengths.
Electrostatic separators utilise the conductive properties of particles to separate materials. The minerals engineering laboratory at CSM is equipped with a Carpco high-tension electrostatic separator which allows for the separation of conductive materials such as cassiterite (tin ore) from insulators such as garnet.
Gravity based processing techniques utilise differences in the density of particles to separate materials. Gravity separation is used industrially in many applications from metal ores such as cassiterite (tin) and wolframite (tungsten) to coal and industrial minerals such as kaolin (china clay). The labs at CSM are equipped with a wide range of laboratory scale separation equipment that can be used to determine the feasibility of economically separating valuable minerals based on their density at a commercial scale.
Magnetic separators utilise the magnetic properties of particles to separate materials. The minerals engineering laboratory at CSM has the facility to undertake both wet and dry magnetic separation on both highly magnetic material such as magnetite (iron ore) and also weakly magnetic minerals such as hematite (iron ore) and ilmenite (titanium ore). This equipment can be used to determine the feasibility of economically separating valuable minerals based on their density at a commercial scale.