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Fusion decomposition

Complete decomposition

Fusion methods, where the sample is melted at high temperatures with a flux, is necessary to break down all minerals in a sample. This is important when elements of interest are hosted in acid resistant minerals such as zircon, sphene, barite cassiterite, rutile, REE oxides, and chromite. If a mineral is not fully decomposed elements of interested hosted in resistant minerals will be affected. When exploring for elements that commonly occur in resistant minerals a fusion decomposition will ensure the total concentration of the element is determined rather than only the acid soluble portion. Different flux types may be more effective for different geological matrices.

Decomposição de fusão

Lithium borate fusion

Lithium borate fusion with ICP-MS measurement provides full decomposition of samples including the most resistant minerals. This method uses a lithium borate flux thus, neither Li nor B can be determined by these methods. Lithium borate is not recommended for sample matrices with high sulphide content as it is unable to effectively oxidise this sample type.

Methods - ME-MS81TM & ME-MS85TM

These methods involve mixing lithium borate flux with a sample and melting at >1,000°C. The melt is cooled then dissolved in a multi-acid solution that includes hydrofluoric acid. The solution is then measured via ICP-MS to determine either a multi-element suite with ME-MS81TM or for individual elements in ME-MS85TM.

Code Analytes & Ranges (ppm)
2g sample
Ba 0.5-10,000 Hf 0.1-10,000 Sn 1-10,000 Y 0.1-10,000
Ce 0.1-10,000 Ho 0.01-1,000 Sr 0.1-10,000 Yb 0.03-1,000
Cr 10-10,000 La 0.1-10,000 Ta 0.1-2,500 Zr 2-10,000
Cs 0.01-10,000 Lu 0.01-1,000 Tb 0.01-1,000
Dy 0.05-1,000 Nb 0.1-2,500 Th 0.05-1,000
Er 0.03-1,000 Nd 0.1-10,000 Tm 0.01-1,000
Eu 0.02-1,000 Pr 0.02-1,000 U 0.05-1,000
Ga 0.1-1,000 Rb 0.2-10,000 V 5-10,000
Gd 0.05-1,000 Sm 0.03-1,000 W 1-10,000

Code Analytes & Ranges (ppm)
0.1g sample
Ce 0.1-10,000 Rb 0.2-10,000 Ta 0.1-2,500 W 1-10,000
La 0.1-10,000 Sn 1-10,000 Th 0.05-1,000 Y 0.1-10,000
Nb 0.1-2,500 Sr 0.1-10,000 U 0.05-1,000 Zr 2-10,000

Notes: For high grade range request ME-MS85h.

Sodium peroxide fusion

Sodium peroxide fusion with ICP-MS measurement allows for the complete analysis of samples with resistant minerals. This fusion is ideal when Li and/or B values are required, or for samples that contain a significant proportion of sulphides (> 4%).

Methods - ME-MS89L™ and ME-ICP81

Multiple methods are offered that utilise a sodium peroxide flux for fusion. The methods offer measurement at super-trace levels (ME-MS89L™) and ore grade (ME-ICP81).

Code Analytes & Ranges (ppm)
0.2g sample

Ag 5-12,500 Eu 0.03-25,000 Nb 0.8-25,000 Te 0.5-25,000
As 4-25,000 Fe 0.05%-25% Nd 0.07-25,000 Th 0.1-25,000
B* 8-25,000 Ga 0.5-25,000 Ni 10-25,000 Ti 0.005%-25%
Ba 2-25,000 Gd 0.03-25,000 Pb 0.5-25,000 Tl 0.02-25,000
Be 0.4-25,000 Ge 0.5-25,000 Pr 0.03-25,000 Tm 0.01-25,000
Bi 0.1-25,000 Ho 0.01-25,000 Rb 0.5-25,000 U 0.2-25,000
Ca 0.1%-25% In 0.3-25,000 Re 0.01-25,000 V 1-25,000
Cd 0.8-25,000 K 0.05%-25% Sb 0.3-25,000 W 0.3-25,000
Ce 0.2-25,000 La 0.08-25,000 Se 3-25,000 Y 0.2-25,000
Co 0.5-25,000 Li 2-25,000 Sm 0.04-25,000 Yb 0.02-25,000
Cs 0.1-25,000 Lu 0.05-25,000 Sn 3-25,000 Zn 10-25,000
Cu 20-25,000 Mg 0.01%-30% Sr 20-25,000
Dy 0.03-25,000 Mn 10-25,000 Ta 0.04-25,000
Er 0.02-25,000 Mo 2-25,000 Tb 0.01-25,000

*B-MS89L - Glassless digestion and analysis to eliminate boron from labware.

Code Analytes & Ranges (%)
0.2g sample
Al 0.01-50 Cr 0.01-30 Mg 0.01-30 S 0.01-60
As 0.01-10 Cu 0.002-30 Mn 0.01-50 Si 0.1-50
Ca 0.05-50 Fe 0.05-70 Ni 0.002-30 Ti 0.01-30
Co 0.002-30 K 0.1-30 Pb 0.01-30 Zn 0.002-30

Frequently asked questions

Related topics

Geochemical rock characterisation

Rock geochemical characterisation

Methods for rock characterisation include fusion methods for major rock forming element and/or trace element analysis.

Green Energy Transition

Energy minerals analysis

Some commodities are hosted in minerals that are resistant to acid attack, thus analysis requires a fusion to identify the full economic potential of samples.