Mining and Exploration

To meet the requirements of the mining industry, speed of analysis for high sample throughput is in focus, as well as precision and good quantitative capacity so that the quantitative data are accurate. It is important that a XRF scanner can determine all chemical elements down to and including Na, since the Na data is needed in the quantification process and for ternary plots. Good sensitivity for all heavy elements is also important so that signature elements as well as toxic elements can be determined. The XRF needs to be very good at distinguishing different elements, something that is determined by several factors, and becomes especially complex when heavier elements are present. Itrax XRF Scanner MC and SC excel at all these criteria.

Below is shown one example where elements that are difficult to distinguish are shown to be well described.

This image shows data from a drill core taken at the Norra Kärr mineralization, one of the world’s largest REE (Rare Earth Elements) deposit. The displayed profiles show the distribution of Hf, Zr and Y, present in average concentrations of 0,05%, 1,2% and 0,2%, respectively. This core was scanned with 1 millimeter steps, measuring one second per point. Please note how the different elements have similar, but not identical profiles. The core photo below indicates the distribution of Endialyt mineral (green) and REE rich mineral Catapleiite (pink).

This diagram shows the correlation between two elements Zirconium (Zr) and Hafnium (Hf), as determined by scanning a one meter core from Norra Kärr REE mineralization in Sweden. Each data point in the diagram corresponds to a measurement of one millimeter in the core direction. Since all data points from this scan fall close to the line, it can be concluded that the two elements have good correlation and therefore are in the same mineral phase. The average concentrations in this core were Zr 1.2% and Hf 0,5%, and the measuring time was one second per point. The diagram also shows that even at such short time of measurement, data quality is good, while taking the average for all the points would add further accuracy. Correlation data from these scans can also be used to display the distribution of mineral phases along a core in a fast and efficient way. There is more to read about this in the file Mineral analysis that you can find on the Downloads page.

Application notes are available for download under Downloads in the main menu.