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Super trace-low level gold & multi-element

Gold & multi-element analysis for exploration

Exploration for many types of deposits can often benefit from using groups of pathfinder elements, frequently including mercury and gold. Both mercury and gold are effectively digested and maintained in aqua regia solutions due to the presence of an oxidising and complexing agent, plus relatively low temperature heating. Methods that can report a large suite of trace elements including mercury and gold from the same digestion can be a time saving and cost-effective exploration tool. ALS offers the lowest detection limits in the industry for gold in soils and sediments by both cyanide and aqua regia digestion, using our innovative super-trace analytical methodology.

Super trace-low level gold & multi-element

Lowest detection level gold plus multi-element analysis

The detection levels reported by the gold plus multi-element methods can be determined to levels below crustal abundance for most elements. Aqua regia digestions are available from both 25g or 50g aliquots and this high sample to volume ratio compared to more aggressive digestions like four-acid (near total digestion) is advantageous for gold representivity, and facilitates the ability to detect elements to super-trace levels.

Super-trace gold plus multi-element methods

ALS has a variety of methods for super-trace gold as a standalone or including multi-element in soils and sediments, outlined below:

Code Analyte Range (ppm) Description
Au 0.02ppb-1ppm Au by cyanide extraction with ICP-MS finish.
25g sample
50g sample
Au 0.1ppb- 0.1ppm Au by aqua regia extraction with ICP-MS finish.
25g sample
50g sample

Code Analytes & Ranges (ppm)
25g sample

50g sample
Au 0.0001-1 Cu 0.01-10000 Nb 0.002-500 Ta 0.005-500
Ag 0.001-100 Fe 0.001-50 % Ni 0.02-10000 Te 0.001-500
Al 0.01-25 % Ga 0.004-10000 P 0.0005-1 % Th 0.0005-10000
As 0.01-10000 Ge 0.005-500 Pb 0.005-10000 Ti 0.0001-10 %
B 2-10000 Hf 0.002-500 Pd 0.001-100 Tl 0.0005-10000
Ba 0.05-10000 Hg 0.002-10000 Pt 0.001-100 U 0.0005-2500
Be 0.005-1000 In 0.005-500 Rb 0.005-10000 V 0.05-10000
Bi 0.0005-10000 K 0.01-10 % Re 0.0002-50 W 0.001-10000
Ca 0.01-25 % La 0.002-10000 S 0.002-10 % Y 0.001-5000
Cd 0.001-2000 Li 0.1-10000 Sb 0.002-10000 Zn 0.1-10000
Ce 0.001-10000 Mg 0.01-25 % Sc 0.005-10000 Zr 0.01-500
Co 0.001-10000 Mn 0.1-50000 Se 0.002-1000
Cr 0.01-10000 Mo 0.002-10000 Sn 0.01-500
Cs 0.001-500 Na 0.001-10 % Sr 0.01-10000

Trace level gold analysis

Our trace level methods by aqua regia digestion and ICP-MS finish are excellent for regolith, where gold anomalies indicating mineralisation below surface are well characterised. Aqua regia dissolves native gold as well as gold bound in sulphide minerals; however, depending on the composition of the soil, gold determined by this method may or may not match recovery from fire assay methods.

Low level gold and multi-element methods

Our method offerings for low level gold and multi-element in soils and sediments are outlined below:

Code Analyte Range (ppm) Description
Trace Level
Au 0.001-1 Au by aqua regia extraction with ICP-MS finish.
25g sample
50g sample
Intermediate Grade
Au 0.01-100 Au by aqua regia extraction with ICP-MS finish.
25g sample
50g sample

Code Analytes & Ranges (ppm)
25g sample

50g sample
Au 0.001-1 Co 0.1-10000 La 0.2-10000 Re 0.001-50 Tl 0.02-10000
Ag 0.01-100 Cr 1-10000 Li 0.1-10000 S 0.01-10% U 0.05-10000
Al 0.01-25% Cs 0.05-500 Mg 0.01-25% Sb 0.05-10000 V 1-10000
As 0.1-10000 Cu 0.2-10000 Mn 5-50000 Sc 0.1-10000 W 0.05-10000
B 10-10000 Fe 0.01-50% Mo 0.05-10000 Se 0.2-1000 Y 0.05-5000
Ba 10-10000 Ga 0.05-10000 Na 0.01-10% Sn 0.2-500 Zn 2-10000
Be 0.05-1000 Ge 0.05-500 Nb 0.05-500 Sr 0.2-10000 Zr 0.5-500
Bi 0.01-10000 Hf 0.02-500 Ni 0.2-10000 Ta 0.01-500
Ca 0.01-25% Hg 0.01-10000 P 10-10000 Te 0.01-500
Cd 0.01-2000 In 0.005-500 Pb 0.2-10000 Th 0.2-10000
Ce 0.02-10000 K 0.01-10% Rb 0.1-10000 Ti 0.005-10%



Gold Plus Multi-Element Methods


The Importance of Low Detection Levels for Gold