The innovative hydroseparation laboratory (CNT-HS-11, manufactured by CNT Corporation, Russia; www.cnt-mc.ru) processes samples of extremely fine-grained (down to <30 µm) water-insoluble grains to produce heavy-mineral concentrates.
The HS-11 laboratory simulates natural beach placer deposits by combination of a laminar water flow at constant pressure with diverse wave impulses. Heavy mineral phases (e.g. gold, platinum-group minerals, zircons) are concentrated at the bottom of the glass separation tube (GST), whereas the light fraction rises to the top of the GST and leaves the system. By using different GST, flow rates and impulse regimes the total amount of heavy mineral concentrates for each size fraction is reduced to about 0.1 mg. Final concentrates are used to produce polished monolayers of heavy minerals for their subsequent investigation.