Robust characterisation of geological samples is often performed during ore deposit knowledge and mineralisation assessments. It is essential for resource model production as well as developing robust exploration models. To fully understand the geological history of an area and the events that have been fundamental in forming and controlling mineralisation, there is often a need for additional methods than those used routinely for ore analysis.
With a business that has grown around geochemistry, ALS has exceptional experience in providing commercial testing of geological materials to support mineral resource development projects. ALS offers an extensive range of methods that are useful in the investigation of most geological materials.
Major elements are present in concentration ranges that are best expressed as a percentage of mass. At the other end of the scale, some trace elements are present and detectable at concentrations that are a fraction of one part per billion. Both major and trace elements can be important in interpreting the evolution, exploration significance, or mineral processing characteristics of a rock.
Getting these elements into a form where they can be quantified also requires specific sample decomposition and digestion strategies. There is no single decomposition and instrumental approach that is optimal for every element. Consequently, methods are combined to offer an accurate concentration of all elements present in a rock sample.
The geochronology methods offered through ALS partners include the mineral separation required to produce an age estimate in the price. For some methods, it is particularly important that the lab performing the analysis also takes responsibility for the separation or initial investigation. This is to minimise contamination issues and to determine if the selected method is feasible.