High quality analyses for exploration, resource evaluation and grade control
Method 510P is an economic choice when only ore forming base elements are of importance. The method is suitable for mineralised samples with moderate grades. There are limitations in the solubility of Ag and Pb at high concentrations. The optional method for high grade silver is the Fire assay 704G (see Precious metals).
Method 510P can be complemented by adding other elements e.g. Bi, Te, Th, U, W in the package.
Samples expected to contain more than 5 % of sulphur should be analysed for sulphur using an alternative method e.g. by combustion technique, S-analyser, Method 810L.
Refractory ore minerals e.g. chromite, magnetite, ilmenite, columbite, cassiterite etc., high-grade base metal ores e.g. Ni ores are analysed by alkaline peroxide fusion and multi-element analysis by ICP-OES (720P) or XRF-analysis using pressed powder pellets (179X). Total concentrations are obtained also for major elements. The Rare Earth Elements (REE) and other rare elements can also be analysed by ICP-MS (method 720M) and combined analysis by method 720PM.
Some ore types and elements can be analysed using multi-acid near total digestion and ICP-OES and ICP-MS –analysis (306P and 306PM or 307M).
When high quality assays of base metals e.g. high grade base metal ores and concentrates are required, a more representative subsample and traditional high-precision procedures either by ICP-OES (514P) as a multi-element package or by FAAS (514A) using single element methods can be used.
The multi-element packages may have to be complemented with element-specific, individual method for elements or components which cannot be analysed by these analytical packages with compromised digestion/pre-treatment and instrumental methods. These methods include high -grade sulphur-, carbon-, Hg-analyses, physical parameters like loss-on-ignition (LOI), specific gravity, saturation magnetisation (Satmagan) etc.
The analytical schema may also require analyses of the elements in specified mineralogical phase e.g. Ni in sulphides and silicates, carbonate and non-carbonate carbon (see Additional analyses).