Global consumption of base metals is increasing due to expanding populations and increases in technological development, including transition to “green” energy. The increased need is driving exploration in both historically explored and new regions. This exploration requires high-quality analysis to improve geochemical vectoring and interpretation. ALS base metal analyses involve rigorous quality control to ensure confidence in results and therefore interpretation based on those results.
Historically, much base metal exploration with soils, rocks, and drill samples has involved an aqua regia digestion as it is effective at digesting sulphides – the primary economic host minerals for most base metals. However, four-acid methods are increasingly popular, and many projects benefit from a higher degree of decomposition such as that produced by a four-acid method. Four-acid digestion produces a near total digestion and offers an advantage of being able to report useable data on many of the rock forming elements along with exploration pathfinder elements.
Yes. Native Cu can smear on preparation equipment surfaces during both crushing and pulverisation. For this reason, it is necessary to notify ALS when submitting samples that contain native Cu and it may also be necessary to add extra washes during preparation. The addition of washes is described in the sample preparation section of this web page. Analysis for native Cu should also use the metallic screen method as the distribution of malleable native Cu may not be well represented by the fine fraction of a pulverised sample.