Geochemical testing for the minerals exploration industry.
The advent of sensitive, rapid throughput instrumentation has revolutionised exploration geochemistry in the last two decades. Large multi-element packages with detection limits commensurate with crustal abundances of the analytes are available at Intertek for exploration purposes at affordable prices. Limited AAS and ICP-OES suites are also available to suit the requirements of particular programs. A variety of digests are offered which include multi-purpose aqua regia, four acid "total" digests along with specialised biogeochemical and partial digests specifically for greenfields exploration.
Mineral sample decomposition:
One of the first considerations in choosing an exploration method is the decomposition technique to be employed. Sample decomposition techniques include acid digestion and fusions:
Multi-elemental testing instrumentation:
The most commonly used testing instruments are ICP-OES, ICP-MS, XRF and AAS.
ICP-OES and ICP-MS are widely used because of their convenient, virtually simultaneous multi-element capabilities.
AAS is generally used where single element work or a small number of elements are required.
XRF pressed powder is routinely used for trace element analysis in exploration samples while XRF fused bead is applied to major element analysis.
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