SURFACE EXPLORATION USING ULTRAFINE SOILS

Effectiveness demonstrated by LabWest sponsored CSIRO/MRIWA Project

  • Increased Signal to Background Ratio
  • Enhanced sensitivity
  • Smaller sample requirements
  • Nugget-effect eliminated

CSIRO/MRIWA Project M462 “Multi-scaled near surface exploration using ultrafine soils”, led by Dr. Ryan Noble, was completed in September, 2018, and successfully demonstrated the applicability of this novel approach to exploration in WA.

The technique delivers multielement analysis, mineralogy and several related parameters derived from the ultrafine (< 2 µm) fraction of soil samples. Concentration of gold and related metals in the ultrafine fraction gives stronger signals, generally well above instrumental detection limits, and increased signal-to-background ratios.

Excellent reproducibility means smaller samples can be collected, leading to reduced sampling and transport costs, and lending itself to extracting significant additional value from historical sample libraries.

As participant and sponsor of the project LabWest assisted in development of the process, which fits comfortably with our expertise in a wide range of regolith geochemical techniques. LabWest is now pleased to offer Ultrafine+ and related techniques to the wider minerals exploration community in Western Australia.

The technique includes:

  • Separation and collection of the < 2 µm fraction
  • Sensitive multielement analysis of the fine fraction (microwave digestion, ICPOES/ICPMS)
  • Particle size distribution
  • Clay mineralogy (ASD)
  • pH and salinity (EC) of the soil

Contact LabWest for information on the Ultrafines technique and how it can add value to your exploration programme.