Mineral Characterization

Group Head

Characterization of the ore is the pre-requisite of research in mineral processing. The mineral/material parameter is identified broadly by mineralogical characteristics (mineralogy, texture, liberation, etc.) and engineering characteristics (ore strength, grindability, work index, washability, porosity etc.).

Mineral Characterization

Upgradation of ore/ run-of-mines or lean grade ore/ mines waste/slime through beneficiation requires the ore minerals to be liberated from gangue minerals as grains with distinctly different physical entity (specific gravity/electrostatic/magnetic/surface charge). Identification of ore minerals, gangue minerals, coal macerals and characterization of their physico-chemical entity is a critical fundamental pre-requisite.


The objective of characterization activity is to develop basic understanding of mineralogy in compliance to process mineralogy measurements so as to equip Mineral Processing Practitioners to use these measurements in interpreting circuit performance on a recovery by size- and liberation basis. The work is carried out within Divisional facility as listed below and with the equipment available in the centralized facility of the institute.

Mineral Characterization

The study covers metallic minerals (oxide, sulphides), industrial minerals (silicates, carbonates & phosphates, coal), strategic minerals related to beneficiation research relevant in the broader discipline of Mineral Engineering and Geometallurgy. Similarly, the concentrates / products require to meet certain engineering parameters (e.g., grain size, strength, porosity) to find application in metallurgical processing and smelters.

The various characterization activities carried by the group are i) Identification & characterization of rocks, minerals, macerals, particles and agglomerated products integrating with chemical and mineralogical assay ii) Study on effect of mineralogy, texture on mineral liberation and its process implications iii) Thermal characterization of mineral and ore iv) Surface characteristics of mineral (zeta-potential measurement) v) Proximate analysis and washability study of coal vi) Grindability of ores vii) Measurement of porosity of mineral viii)Engineering characteristics of coal and coke (CSR-CRI-test, Plastometry-dilatometry of coking coal)