Green Mining | Mineral Analysis using X-ray Imaging
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Mineral Analysis using X-ray Imaging

Name: Mineral Analysis using X-ray Imaging

Acronym: MAXI

Duration:  1/2014- 3/2016

Total costs (€)/Tekes support: 456000 € / 273600 €

Leading research organization partner: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd

Contact persons:

  • Mauri Aikio, VTT, mauri.aikio(at)
  • Juha Kalliopuska, Advacam Oy, juha.kalliopuska(at)
  • Mikael Bergqvist, Orexplore Ab, mikael.bergqvist(at)


Research organization partners:

  • VTT, Coordinator
  • Geological Institute of Romania

Company partners:

  • Advacam Oy (Finland)

International partners:

  • Orexplore Ab (Sweden)
  • Advacam s.r.o. (Czech Republic)

Number of other publications and reports: 5

Need and motivation of the project:
MAXI project’s vision is to be able to analyse element concentrations centimetres inside ore samples for heavier elements, such as precious and rare earth metals, and have improved spatial resolution, compared to present non-imaging X-ray spectroscopy. The main objective of the proposed research is to improve material analysis efficiency, both in terms of material recognition accuracy and speed of detection. XRF spectroscopy is widely used in production plants and exploration of mining companies, both as handheld instruments and in conveyor belt analysis subsystems. However, current industrial XRF systems have poor spatial resolution: they typically are unable to localize particles with dimensions below 100mm.

Main set targets:

  • MAXI project’s goal is to improve the selectivity at least with one order of magnitude, from 100 mm down to about 10mm spatial resolution with a focus on drill core application (Orexplore). This needs:
    • Development of X-ray imaging detector suitable to make imaging analysis of heavy objects (stones) with material recognition properties (“x-ray spectroscopy) (Advacam)
    • Development of imaging capability for moving objects (for instance on conveyer belt) by imaging x-ray detector (Advacam)
    • An imaging x-ray test facilities in a laboratory (VTT) with possibilities to scan over the object (drill core)
    • 3D x-ray imaging method for drill cores applied in a drill core measurement system (Orexplore)
    • Reference measurements (Geological Institute of Romania)


Key results

  • New X-ray detector for heavy material objects with properties of material recognition was developed by Advacam
  • Detection method for moving objects was developed by Advacam
  • Imaging X-ray test facilities were built at VTT Oulu (but have to be continued in another project)
  • 3D X-ray imaging of drill core was developed by Orexplore
  • Reference measurement and test sample preparations were done by Geological Institute of Romania
  • Link:  (final report is under a preparation, due to the extension of the project timetable by 3 months)

Commercialization measures and/or potential

  • Advacam can use the developed detector technology also for many other applications and thus expands the commercial potential
  • Advacam can utilize the new feature of moving object imaging in all possible industrial on-line inspection (such as pharma, packaging, food, car industry, aerospace,…)
  • Orexplore will use the new detector, 3D imaging analysis and the fast scanning properties intheir next generation drill core analyzer
  • VTT will use the test environment for development of new application for industry using the achievements of MAXI project


Presentations and other publications

CIOACĂ M.E. – MUNTEANU M. – WÄLLE M. – MARINCEA Ș. – DUMITRAȘ D.: Comparative study on the trace element contents of sulfides from the Neogene and Laramian porphyry copper deposits from Romania (pdf)

CIOACĂ M.E. – MUNTEANU M. – WÄLLE M. – COSTIN G. – MARINCEA Ș. – DUMITRAȘ D.: Distribution of trace elements In sulfide minerals from Roșia Poieni Porphyry Copper Deposit (Romania) (pdf)

CIOACĂ M.E – MUNTEANU M. – VÄLIMAA J.: Metallic gold from the Suurikuusikko Mine (Kittilä, Finland): geochemistry and metallogenetic implications (doc)

CIOACĂ M.E. – COSTIN G. – COSTEA A.C. – BARBU O.C. – BÂRGĂOANU D.: Chemical variability of ore minerals in several epithermal deposits from the Gold Quadrilateral, Apuseni Mountains, Romania (doc)

MUNTEANU M. – VÄLIMAA J. – CIOACĂ M.E – COSTIN G. – COSTEA A.C.: Late metallogenetic processes in the Suurikuusikko gold deposit (Kittilä mine, Finland)