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Metallurgy & mineral processing

Sample preparation

In metallurgical testing, how samples are prepared and blended is of the utmost importance. ALS has the expertise and capabilities to prepare your samples to meet the highest standards. Our sample preparation includes fastidious inventorying and selection, careful drying, controlled/stage crushing, and rigorous blending and splitting to ensure homogenous sub-samples for downstream testing. From a few grams of powder to hundreds of tonnes of rocks, ALS is ready to prepare your samples to meet your specific needs.



Crushing and grinding of ore is a significant capital and operating cost in most mineral processing plants. Determining ore comminution parameters is critical to enable complete plant design. ALS conducts all the accepted comminution tests, from Bond to JK Tech. The results from these tests are used for simulation modelling, scale-up studies, and technical due diligence.


Gold extraction

The ALS gold laboratory facility in Perth is world-renowned in testing the metallurgical response of gold ores and concentrates. For over 40 years, ALS has been associated with the testing of thousands of ore deposits worldwide, many of which have gone on to be successful industrial operations. Our speciality expertise lies in gravity separation and cyanidation processes.


Flotation process development

Froth flotation remains the beneficiation process of choice for most sulphide deposits, and for an increasing number of non-sulphide/oxide ore bodies. ALS has extensive capabilities for flotation process development test work, at both laboratory and pilot plant scale across a wide range of minerals. Our knowledge, combined with our assay and mineralogical analysis, allows us to quickly hone the optimum circuit and reagent conditions specific to your ore body’s requirements.



In 2020, ALS introduced the purpose-built world class Hydrometallurgy Centre of Excellence (HCE) at the Perth, Western Australia facilities. This facility includes state-of-the-art bench scale metallurgical and analysis equipment and unprecedented piloting capacity. This facility and service offering is well placed to meet the growing needs of the hydrometallurgy industry, both for traditional commodities and for the emerging energy metals market.


Pilot plant operations

At ALS, we know that front-end comminution, gravity, beneficiation, and extraction unit processes constitute the fundamental aspects of industrial metallurgical process plants. Determining the behaviour and stability of complex circuits in continuous dynamic operation is a critical milestone in the project feasibility process. The production of mineral concentrates and other product streams of correct physical and chemical characteristics are also of critical importance. Very often a pilot plant is the best way to produce these products in sufficient quantities for either marketing or downstream testing purposes.


Iron ore process development

The ALS Metallurgy business runs the Iron Ore Technical Centre in Wangara, WA, which specialises in the testing and processing of hematite, magnetite and all forms of iron ore. Specialty strengths lay in large scale geo-metallurgy programs (Crushing, Drop Tower, and Blending) critical for mine resource planning, as well as grinding, gravity and magnetic separation at both bench and pilot scale.


Analytical services

ALS Metallurgy runs its own analytical facility on-site with the metallurgical laboratories to provide an assay service on testwork samples and products. This close integration allows unmatched communication and turnaround times together with bespoke analytical techniques commensurate with the nuances of metallurgical testing.


Heavy liquid separation

ALS offers heavy liquid separation (HLS) tests, which provide key data for exploration programs and process design projects. Most commonly, data derived from HLS tests are used for: characterising the density parameters of ore samples; predicting the performance of ores through gravity circuits; and pre-concentrating low-grade high-density minerals prior to further physical or analytical testing.



Using optical, XRD (X-ray Diffraction) and SEM-QEMSCAN techniques, a clear picture as to the valuable and gangue mineral deportment, associations and grain sizes can be quickly determined at microscopic level. Our team of world-renowned mineralogists can then integrate this information with bankable metallurgy for expedient process flowsheet development and optimisation, without the need for exhaustive and expensive empirical testing. Located in Balcatta, our metallurgy mineralogy team can also liaise and leverage off the Brisbane Geochemistry mineralogical capability.