The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) and CIM Magazine have collaborated to bring you the Potash Webinar Series. Through it, SRC experts will share key learnings and new developments from their research and experience working with the potash industry across the production cycle – from mining to tailings.

In this four-part series, you’ll learn about novel technologies, processes, equipment and insights that can help potash operations achieve greater efficiencies. Register here for part two.

Break the Code, Not the Rock: Computed Tomography for Potash

X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning is a non-destructive technique that reveals detailed 3-D structures that cannot be identified by visualization or 2-D X-ray radiography. Industrial CT systems offer great versatility and advantages in analyzing large or dense materials, such as mineral containing potash, with high X-ray attenuation, while providing significantly higher spatial and contrast resolution than common scanning techniques. Characterizing geomaterials, including potash ores, is one of the many applications of industrial CT systems.

Because the CT imagery represented by grey-level values is closely related to the density of scanned objects, it’s possible to distinguish different minerals with enough density contrast, e.g., halite from sylvite. With advanced image analysis of the CT scanning imagery, much compositional, structural and textural properties are quantitatively extracted and mapped in 3-D to obtain valuable information about the sample. This information can be combined with the data from the other tests (e.g., XRD, QEMSCAN) to form a unique dataset that can help to characterize the formation and optimize the extraction process for potash and other minerals.

At spatial resolution of 30 microns for common 1.5-inch-diameter core plugs, features such as small sedimentary structures, natural/induced fractures and bioturbations can be easily identified. In this presentation, you’ll learn why this high-resolution digital core is a valuable input for subsequent studies in geoscience and mineral processing, as well as petroleum engineering.


Webinar Presenter


Petro Nakutnyy manages SRC’s Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Processes Business Unit. His major technical responsibility is to conduct applied research and development of EOR processes and laboratory engineering design for the petroleum and in-situ mining projects. Petro’s team encompasses nearly three decades of experience and expertise in gas and chemical in-situ recovery solutions. Petro holds a Master of Applied Science degree in petroleum engineering and is a registered professional engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan.

Watch the recording of the first webinar: How Metallurgical Testing Can Help the Potash Industry Address Processing Challenges Aired: June 2, 2020 Time: 12 pm EDT

Saskatchewan has the largest high-grade potash reserves in the world with relatively simple mineralogy. SRC’s Mineral Processing team has worked closely with the potash industry across the world, providing lab, bench and pilot-scale metallurgical testing, as well as small to medium commercial demonstration scale testing. Together with the potash industry, SRC Mineral Processing has developed numerous new technologies and processes to help the potash industry around the world address a variety of processing challenges, largely due to complicated mineralogy and clays issues.

The series

1. How Metallurgical Testing Can Improve Potash Processing. June 2, 2020. Watch the recording

2. Break the Code, Not the Rock: Computed Tomography for Potash. July 14, 2020. Register

3. Slurry 101. August 18, 2020

4. More details coming soon

About SRC

The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) is one of Canada’s leading providers of research and development and technology commercialization. SRC’s Mining and Energy team provides services that meet industry needs across the mining cycle for a wide range of commodities, including diamonds, uranium, potash, lithium, base metals, precious metals and rare earth elements. We provide technological solutions and testing, from exploration and design/feasibility to operations and closure. 

Learn more about SRC Potash Services