FEI Co., an instrumentation company providing electron microscope systems, recently released of two new software solutions that are claimed to provide quantifiable data to improve mineral extraction. The new software upgrades are part of FEI’s automated mineralogy technology suite, which provides quantitative mineralogical data on a wide range of geological samples. In mining, according to the company, this data enables engineers to optimize mineral processing and mine planning and reduce uncertainty in operational decisions, increasing the likelihood of more successful exploration and more efficient production.

“These powerful new solutions demonstrate FEI’s commitment to improving the speed, user experience and utility of the MLA and QEMSCAN solutions, following our acquisition of Intellection and the MLA business of JKTech in 2009,” said Paul Scagnetti, FEI’s Industry Market Division vice president and general manager. “These application-specific software solutions were developed at FEI’s Center of Excellence for Natural Resources in Brisbane, Australia, working closely with our customers.”

The software solutions include MLA v3.0 and iDiscover v5.0. FEI said MLA v3.0—the Mineral Liberation Analyzer (MLA) measurement and analysis suite—has been completely revised with the launch of version 3.0. The user interface is enhanced, with flexibility in processing of particle images and extraction of quantitative mineralogical data. A completely new and integrated data management system has also been introduced, as well as simplified measurement set-up and mineral standards management protocols.

iDiscover v5.0 is the latest upgrade to the QEMSCAN software suite, and includes a what FEI describes as a revolutionary automated mineral identification algorithm. Customers can now directly identify more than twice as many elements, which enables more subtle discrimination of complex mineral compositions.