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Chemical (elemental) analysis

Chemical (elemental) analysis

Accurate assaying is critical a component of any iron ore testwork program and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) by fused bead is the method of choice for the analysis of iron ore samples. Loss-on-ignition (LOI) determination by Thermogravimetric Analyser (TGA) is typically done in conjunction with XRF. The Iron Ore Technical Centre (IOTC) leverages off the vast state of the art facilities of the ALS Geochemistry division in Malaga together with the Metallurgy Assay Laboratory in Balcatta for analytical services. These extensive capabilities enable the IOTC to deliver fast and accurate assay services in support of metallurgical testing.

Análise química elementar

Iron ore chemical analysis services

The benefits of the XRF method for iron ore samples are as follows:

A typical iron ore analysis should include a loss-on-ignition (LOI) determination at 371ºC-425°C, 550ºC-650ºC and 1000ºC, normally undertaken by Thermogravimetric Analyser (TGA). Determining the LOI over the above range of temperatures provides a guide to the actual minerals present in the samples. The lower temperatures of 371ºC-425°C will classify the loss of water of hydration (dehydroxylation) primarily from organics and goethite. Clays such as kaolinite in iron ores will lose hydroxyls at approximately 650ºC. At the higher temperature of 1000°C, dehydroxylation of micas and amphiboles will occur together with loss of CO2 from carbonates such as calcite and dolomite. The LOI may be offset to some extent by the weight gain due to oxidation of reduced iron and manganese mineral phases.

The detection limits and ranges of the XRF suite analytes are tabulated below.

Analytes & detection ranges (%)
Al₂O3 0.01–100 Cl 0.001 – 6 Fe 0.01 – 75 Na₂O 0.005 – 8 S 0.001 – 5 TiO₂ 0.01 – 30
As 0.001–1.5 Co 0.001 – 5 K₂O 0.001 – 6.3 Ni 0.001 – 8 SiO₂ 0.01 – 100 V 0.001 – 5
Ba 0.001 – 10 Cr₂O₃ 0.0006 – 10  MgO 0.01 – 40 P 0.001 – 10 Sn 0.001 – 1.5 Zn 0.001 – 1.5
CaO 0.01 – 40 Cu 0.001 – 1.5 Mn 0.001 – 25 Pb 0.001 – 2 Sr 0.001 – 1.5 Zr  0.001 – 1.5
Loss on Ignition (LOI) (0.01%) at 371°C, 425°C, 550°C, 650°C, and 1000°C / Moisture at 110°C

Other related services

Chemical analysis almost always occurs in conjunction with:

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Chemical analysis isn't always prescribed, either insofar as the methodology or when and how to take a sample for assay. ALS is always flexible on chemical analysis and will be happy to advise on your assay requirements.

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Associated testwork services

Related testwork

HPGR test products can be utilized as part of larger metallurgical testwork programs in the production of suitably sized product for downstream testing including:

Click on the above links or contact us for further information. We can integrate a full program for you if required.