Sampling 2014 is a sequel to the very successful Sampling conferences held in Perth in 2012, 2010 and 2008 organised by The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (The AusIMM) and CSIRO. Sampling 2014 will bring together geologists, engineers, metallurgists, grade controllers, samplers, chemists, consultants and managers involved in all aspects of sampling mineral commodities, ranging from exploration, resource estimation and mine development through to process control, quality control and finally export. The conference will provide great opportunities for networking, meeting respected international sampling experts, sharing ideas and catching up on the latest developments in sampling and sample preparation
Despite the utilisation of quite advanced technologies in the minerals industry, it is still surprising how little attention is given to extracting samples for resource development, process control, plant optimisation and commercial transactions. Quite often everyone appears satisfied as long as some material is collected and delivered to the laboratory for analysis. Yet, unless the samples are representative of the ore or product from which they were extracted, the whole analysis process is flawed at the outset and the overall accuracy and precision of the resultant analyses are inadequate for the intended purpose, such as decisions on resource development, optimisation of resource utilisation and process plant performance, and determination of the value of mineral exports. Unfortunately, no amount of re-analysis can fix this problem. As a direct result, mining companies stand to lose millions of dollars in terms of poor investment decisions, wasted mineral resources, poor plant recoveries and income from the sale of their products. Much more attention therefore needs to be given to the sampling and sample preparation procedures adopted to ensure that the samples extracted are representative and meaningful decisions can be made based on the analyses generated.