HERZOG Mining offers complete solutions for sample preparation in the mining industry and is one of the world’s leading suppliers of laboratory systems e.g. for the iron ore, gold, copper, phosphate and other industries.



HERZOG systems are optimized for the control of all production steps in the mining industry and are used for the analysis of geological, concentration and flotation samples. They are scalable according to the customer’s needs and are implemented as manual or fully automatic laboratories.

DetailsTo sample preparation

Quality control for mining industry

The mining industry, like many other natural resource sectors, requires a large-scale use of automation at various levels and degrees.  Although automation is quite advanced in drilling, hauling and process control, there is still a large potential to automate processes within the laboratories.  Virtually most future ore reserves are linked to lower grades, harder and deeper ores, complex mineralogy, and rising cost associated with water, power, sustainability, larger plants and other challenges.  High capacity, 24/7 automated labs are critical for early and continuous, large-scale geo-metallurgical profiling of new ore bodies.  This, in turn, is a priority requirement for avoiding costly delays in start- or ramp-up.  For existing operations, the change to automation can optimize mining, ore routing, comminution, flotation, leaching, and contribute to lower operating costs and higher recoveries.

As ore routing, processing and optimal final products are inevitably governed by fast, high-quality, high-throughput, and 24/7 analytical data, state-of-the-art automated laboratory facilities constitute the center of cost-effective plant operations.  As such, lab automation (via upgrading of existing facilities, expansions, modular lab segments, new installations or central laboratories) is an imperative priority for competitive mining in the near future.      


HERZOG’s Automation Team can provide you with a tailored concept and layout suitable for a specific mine site, multiple different mines or a central laboratory serving an entire mining region.  In addition, HERZOG can design your laboratory needs in an underground operation. HERZOG Automation Technology covers your entire mine and plant requirements in regard to sample preparation and interfacing with analysis:

  • Exploration & Mine Geology (drill core, drill cuttings, blast holes, bulk ore samples)
  • Geo-Metallurgy (mineralogical, chemical, metallurgical samples)
  • Plant & Process (mill feeds, flotation products, leach feeds/residues, slags, mattes, cathodes)
  • Environmental (soil, overburden, AMD samples, others)

Laboratories for the mining industry

HERZOG is looking back on longstanding and worldwide activities in the mining industry. In recent decades we have successfully installed numerous large and smaller automations. We are proud to be the partner of the leading mining and engineering companies. This cooperation helps us to constantly improve our technology for better fulfillment of our customers’ needs.

HERZOG has delivered some of the most innovative and extensive  laboratory systems worldwide such as:

  • The largest automation project in the world to Anglo Platinum (South Africa)
  • The largest robotic sample preparation in the world for copper to Freeport-McMoRan (USA)
  • The largest fully automated iron ore laboratory in the world to BHP Billiton (Australia)

    HERZOG has recourse to large expertise in the mining industry. Our experienced team is composed of mechanical and software engineers as well as geologists and chemists. Furthermore, HERZOG has a close strategic cooperation with IMP, a company with longstanding experience and expertise in the mining industry and operations in Australia, South Africa, Canada, USA and Brazil. Since 20 years HERZOG and IMP have successfully managed more than 100 large-scale mining projects.

    Iron ore laboratories

    HERZOG Mining offers fully automated sample preparation and analysis facility for many hundred samples per day. The fully automated systems are designed to process geochemical mining and pit control samples, metallurgical control samples as well as geochemical exploration samples. Depending on application, different sample preparation steps can be integrated in the laboratory.

    In automatic laboratories, large dry samples of up to 15 kg are entered into the system. Sample drying and automatic moisture determination can also take place within the lab using convection ovens. Usually, samples are then crushed and then split to smaller aliquots before being pulverizing to 90% passing 106µm. Pulverized samples are dosed into a vial as part of the analysis which includes 4 point LOI and the fusion of glass beads for XRF elemental determination. As an alternative, fine grinding and pelletizing of samples produce very acceptable quality analytical data especially for ores with high hematite composition.

    Once the samples have entered the system, all of the processes described above are fully automated. Therefore, human intervention errors commonly associated with manual or non-integrated geochemical laboratories are eliminated. The robotics carry out repetitive tasks with absolute precision, while the HERZOG sample preparation equipment automatically prepares the samples for analysis. Robotic preparation systems delivers the geochemical sample determination and quantification tools to provide the production site with real time information for process control decision making.

    HERZOG also offers manual equipment for each single preparation step. Furthermore, compact automatic equipment is available like, e.g., the HP- BTM for crushing, splitting and pulverizing.

    Port laboratories for the mining industry

    HERZOG delivers complete laboratories for ship loading and unloading. We are taking care that the design of the laboratory is compliant with the client's latest site-specific requirements, safety standards and regulations. The port laboratories meet quality standards to ensure product quality and is compliant with requirements of ISO3082. Equipment and control system are designed to guarantee highest safety, easy maintenance, maximum availability, rapid turnaround times, and traceability of all activities. 

    Our systems are designed for completing the following tasks:

    • Sample Receipt, Weighing, Labelling and Tracking
    • Sample division
    • Drying
    • Moisture determination
    • Sieve analysis
    • Crushing
    • Splitting
    • Compositing
    • Pulverizing

      The port laboratories are designed for both time-based and mass-based sampling regime. The time-based regime results in a shorter duration between samples, meaning that the equipment is placed under additional load when compared to a traditional mass-based sampling method. In case of time-based sampling, manually processing this volume of sample would be logistically impossible, with 40 kg samples arriving every 90 seconds in a worst case scenario.

      Increments arriving in the laboratory are processed through various stages of accumulation, splitting, crushing, pulverizing to achieve representative samples for the chemical analysis of the loaded product. At the same time, moisture content and particle size distribution are determined. The complete process is fully automated with a minimum time requirement to allow quickest possible analysis reporting. The port lab has sufficient magazine capacity to store increments, aliquots and accumulations.

      Various designs are available according to the procedural and architectonic demands of our customers. Exemplary configurations are one or two robot circuits or linear robot cells with one or two robots moving on a track. The arrangement of the robot and associated equipment allows maintaining each piece of equipment in a safe manner. The robot remains operational due to special machine guards and “Safe Move” mode.

      Copper mining laboratories

      As the reliability and availability of analytical data is primarily contingent on Sampling and Sample Preparation, automating the sample preparation laboratories (“the bucking rooms”), will provide a copper mining operation with significant improvements.  Automation of sample preparation for chemical analysis can include virtually all mine and process materials including drill core, blast holes, bulk ore, process products, slags, sludge’s and other residues. Barcoded or RFID-tagged samples can be subjected to automated:

        • Moisture determination
        • Filtration & drying
        • Crushing, pulverizing
        • Screening, blending/splitting,
        • Ultrafine grinding, tablet pressing
        • Dosing, bagging, assay pulp transport
        • Cathode Analysis.

        One of the major economic and technical benefits of automated sample preparation is the capability to process substantially larger samples (10-15 kg/sample) at high-throughput rates.  Since sample size and higher sample frequency are major factors in better ore representation, automation also enables production support labs to generate statistically more robust data.

        In addition to chemical Labs, the HERZOG Mining automation can be linked to:

        • High-throughput XRD and FT-NIR Mineralogy Labs
        • Automated Fire Assaying
        • Support of Automated Mineral Analyzer Labs (such as TIMA-X, QEMSCAN, MLA, Others) with auto-sizing, splitting, drying, potting, curing and transport to Auto Polishing.

          Flotation laboratories

          HERZOG has developed special technologies for the sample preparation of different slurry types

          Froth flotation is a standard procedure for the separation of a large range of sulfides, carbonates and oxides before further refinement. It is a frequent process stage for the recovery of copper- and lead-bearing material but also for a variety of other ore applications. It is also widely used for phosphate extraction including different types of ores like apatit- staffelite (collophanite). EFlotation requires a steady process control for a successful beneficiation. For this purpose, HERZOG provides fully automatic sample preparation equipment covering slurry transport, slurry drying, sample splitting, fine grinding and pelletizing into steel rings or production of fused beads. The results of this process are chemical composition and grain size distribution and can be used for at-line-analysis or calibration of online- analysis methods.

          The sample material includes three different sample types retained from different locations important for the flotation processes. The sample types are following:

          • Feed
          • Concentrates
          • Tailings.

          HERZOG provides solutions for the pneumatic transport of slurries from the flotation plant to the laboratory. Usually, a secondary vesin cutter splits a sample, which flows to the slurry sending station while the surplus is returned to the process. The slurry is sent to the laboratory station where it is split down to a volume of 1.2- 1.8 l. After each transport cycle, the whole piping system is cleaned by water avoiding any form of cross contamination.

          After transportation of the slurry sample into the laboratory, the material is dewatered by using the HERZOG filter press system. In the filter dryers, the water is pressed out by means of compressed air. A multifilamentic fabric that is especially adapted to the material properties of the sludge is used as filter textile. This system also makes use of self-reinforcing filter effects supporting the filtering of small particles and detachment of the filter cake. The filter presses are available for manual or automatic operation. Residual moisture of approximately 10% evaporates during controlled drying in either microwave systems or air circulation ovens. After drying, the sample is further processed by pulverizing, pelletizing, fusion, grain sizing etc.

          Usually, the dry sample is further split into aliquots for pulverizing, pelletizing and spectroscopic analysis, composition of average sample, as well as grain sizing. Avoiding contamination between the mill feed and the technology tailing samples proved to be the most complex step of sample preparation. However, using a blind sample between each pulverizing step or sand cleaning usually prohibits contamination.


          Sample preparation