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With the myriad of measurement techniques and definitions of clays, the first question generally asked is “how much clay is there” in a sample? This often refers to the magnitude of a clay attribute in the sample and the answer to this question may vary depending on the measurement method. Does the method measure the clay-mineral type, the size distribution or mean size, the surface area, cation exchange capacity (CEC), rheology, or plasticity? Clay mineral type, particle size, and surface area are commonly used in mining operations to optimize oil-sand ore blending. In bitumen extraction and tailings management, where slurry behavior contributes to the process performance, propertiess uch as rheology and plasticity are also used.

The previous chapters in the volume have introduced the various properties of clay particles and clay minerals. The present chapter describes the common methods of measuring clays and clay minerals in oil sands.

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