Mining Analysis
Date: 24/02/2023 | read: 168

The possibility of obtaining geochemical and mineralogical information while engaged in geological field investigations has been one of most important advances in geochemistry over the last decades. The most suitable technologies for the elemental analysis of geological materials, outside the laboratory and in near-real time currently are X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF).

Handheld XRF analyzers are available in a portable form, First adopted for geology, mineral exploration, soil science, and environmental monitoring, Handheld XRF Analyzer have been broadly used for application across the geosciences.

Geology and Mining Applications for HH XRF

  • Core Analysis for Exploration Drilling
  • Mineral Exploration
  • Geochemical Testing and Mapping
  • Mine Face or Pit-Face
  • Waste Processing and Metal Recovery
  • Ore grade control
  • Silver ore mining
  • Mineral Lab Alternative

Handheld XRF is a viable method for producing basic geochemical analyses during field mapping exercises with results that are generally comparable with laboratory XRF results for most elements, albeit with lower precision. Measurements made on fresh outcrop surfaces take about 60 s and yield results that can help inform lithologic correlations during fieldwork.

When desirable, some on-site sample preparation,such as breaking and smoothing fresh surfaces, can improve the precision and accuracy of handheld XRF analyzer results. Handheld XRF data may be especially valuable for determining which samples to collect for further geochemical or geochronological analysis.

For example, rapid high-grading of volcanic rocks with relatively high K2O contents prior to collection may substantially improve the quality of subsequent 40Ar/39Ar geochronologic studies of collected samples.

Advantages of Handheld XRF Analyzer for Geology Comparing with Lab Analyzers

While laboratory analyses will remain the standard for providing the highest quality data possible, these measurements can be costly, and require intensive sample preparation and analysis time.

There is therefore a niche in the fields for the use of  Handheld XRF technology in that it can provide rapid, in situ data to the user to inform them about the composition of samples at their field site. The user can also deploy the handhled XRF analyzer to triage samples, allowing them to select a sample suite tailored to their field and scientific objectives for return for future laboratory work.

By deploying the handheld XRF analyzer in the field, the field geologist can streamline field operations, gain a real-time geochemical understanding of a field site, select which samples to collect, save time and money on laboratory analyses, and potentially minimize future return trips to the field site