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Home > Press > FEI and JKTech team to increase efficiency of mining operations

Abstract:
Powerful Microscope and Software Combination Delivers Rapid Automated Analysis for Minerals Exploration and Processing

FEI and JKTech team to increase efficiency of mining operations

HILLSBORO, OR | Posted on April 12th, 2007

FEI Company (Nasdaq: FEIC) and Australian-based JKTech have teamed to combine their innovative scanning electron microscope (SEM) technologies and software, delivering innovative applications that greatly enhance minerals processing and improve evaluation of exploration targets for mining operations. The combined solution features FEI's Quanta™ SEM and JKTech's Mineral Liberation Analyzer software and is available now with liquid-nitrogen-free, high throughput silicon drift EDS technology.

The Mineral Liberation Analyzer (MLA), capable of analyzing up to 16 different samples overnight without the need of an operator, is a high-throughput and highly-automated mineral analysis system. It rapidly identifies minerals in polished sections of drill core, particulate or lump materials and quantifies a wide range of mineral characteristics such as abundance, grain size and liberation distributions. The automated stage control and image acquisition of the Quanta SEM enable imaging and subsequent x-ray analysis of at least 5,000 individual particles for concentrated samples and 50,000 or more particles for tailings or low-grade materials. The geometallurgical and ore characterization data enables users to optimize plant feed quality by avoiding metallurgically poor ore stocks or facilitating effective ore blending.

"There are hundreds of mining operations around the world and all of them are continually looking for means of increasing yields and lowering cost," comments Dr. Geoff Gault, JKTech's managing director. "Because the Mineral Liberation Analyzer not only delivers critical data for making mineral processing more efficient, but also provides a highly effective tool for evaluating exploration targets, this solution represents a compelling value proposition for customers."

There are already more than a dozen leading international resource companies on four continents utilizing the MLA package to improve processing efficiencies for copper, nickel, lead, zinc, manganese, iron ore, mineral sands and precious metals such as platinum, palladium, silver and gold. Several are utilizing multiple tools for 24/7 analysis. Universities and geological institutions are also finding the MLA a valuable tool that contributes significantly to their research outcomes.

"The MLA package represents a complete mineral analysis solution that can be tailored to suit high-throughput production applications and research applications," said Bruno Janssens, vice president of FEI's NanoResearch and Industry division. "Our customers are seeing a rapid return on the investment from the MLA system founded upon the complementary combined expertise and support of FEI and JKTech."

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About FEI
FEI (Nasdaq: FEIC) is a global leader in providing innovative instruments for nanoscale imaging, analysis and prototyping. FEI focuses on delivering solutions that provide groundbreaking results and accelerate research, development and manufacturing cycles for its customers in Semiconductor and Data Storage, Academic and Industrial R&D, and Life Sciences markets. With R&D centers in North America and Europe, and sales and service operations in more than 50 countries around the world, FEI’s Tools for Nanotech™ are bringing the nanoscale within the grasp of leading researchers and manufacturers. More information can be found online at: http://www.fei.com .

About JKTech
JKTech Pty. Ltd. is the technology transfer company for the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC) at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Its role is to take viable research outcomes and transfer them to the international minerals industry. JKTech offers a range of innovative solutions for the minerals industry aimed at increasing productivity and metal recovery. These specialist products and services include consulting, automated quantitative mineralogy, specialist software and equipment, laboratory services and training courses. More information about JKTech can be found at http://www.jktech.com.au .


This news release contains forward-looking statements that include statements about introduction of the Mineral Liberation Analyzer (MLA) product and future uses and applications. Factors that could affect these forward-looking statements include but are not limited to failure of the product to perform as expected; failure to deliver the product as expected and problems with our partner JKTech. Please also refer to our Form 10-K, Forms 10-Q, Forms 8-K and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for additional information on these factors and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. FEI assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements.

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Contacts:
Dan Zenka, APR Global Public Relations
FEI Company +1 503 726 2695


Sandy Fewkes
Public Relations Contact
+1 408 224 4024

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