XRD can be used for fast and accurate cluster analysis, phase identification and quantification of the minerals present in iron ore. The ore contains phases as hematite, goethite and magnetite as well as the gangue minerals gibbsite Al(OH)3, kaolinite Al2Si2O5(OH)4 and quartz SiO2. In addition, different XRD methods can distinguish between goethite with varying Al contents.

Theoretical grade blocks can be defined on the basis of the mineralogy determined by XRD, indicating ore grades that can be effectively and economically upgraded in the concentrator.
Exploration of iron ore deposits can be done using cluster analysis. This method can distinguish between different ore grades and facilitate multidimensional compositional mapping of ore deposits. Cluster analysis identifies regions of favorable mineral compositions without detailed knowledge about the phase content.

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