LabWest has developed the UltraFine+™ analysis process in conjunction with CSIRO since 2017.

Analysis of the reactive 2-micron clay fraction, with microwave digestion and using the latest low detection level ICPMS technology, has proven to be useful for geologists and geochemists to help see through shallow to moderate cover.

UltraFine+™ is now an established approach to surface exploration analysis using proven geochemical methods to identify sensitive signals at surface.

A range of clients across Australia are now using this innovative and efficient surface analysis, taking advantage of sensitive detection for gold, base metals, rare-earth and lithium exploration.

Find out more in this introductory video or see below for analysis options available in our UltraFine+™ packages, plus research reports and case studies.

An introduction to UltraFine+™

Effective and efficient exploration analysis

Increased Signal to Background Ratio
Enhanced Sensitivity
Smaller Sample Requirements
Nugget-Effect Eliminated

A CSIRO/MRIWA project sponsored by LabWest

The significant potential of the UltraFine+™ approach to gold and base metals exploration in Australia was successfully demonstrated in a combined CSIRO/MRIWA project.

CSIRO/MRIWA Project M462 “Multi-scaled near surface exploration using ultrafine soils”, led by Dr. Ryan Noble, was completed in September 2018, with LabWest as a project participant and its commercial partner.

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.

Click here to read a more detailed research report summarising the effectiveness of Project M462. As participant and sponsor of the project, LabWest assisted in development of the UltraFine+™ process. The method adds to 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. A selection of UltraFine+™ packages is available in addition to our suite of Regolith Geochemical Analysis services.

Our UltraFine+™ analysis services

Full UltraFine+™ Package

  • Separation and collection of <2μm fraction
  • Gold and full multielement suite analysis by ICP-MS and OES
  • Analysis and reporting of Au
  • pH and electrical conductivity of the sample
  • Head sample particle size distribution
  • Clay fines mineralogy by NIR reflectance spectroscopy

Partial Package Option (UFF-PE, 50 Elements Only)

  • Collection of <2μm fraction from soil samples
  • Analysis and reporting of Au plus base metals by ICPMS
  • Retention of fines for later mineralogy and sizing if required (up to 2 months)
Further options are available catering to rare-earth and lithium exploration. Contact LabWest on 08 9248 9321 or for further information.

UltraFine+™ Usage Around Australia

UltraFine+™ is in use on a range of projects across Western Australia and beyond. See below for ASX Releases and a map of active projects, and several orientation studies demonstrating the benefits of the Ultrafine method for near surface exploration.

ASX Releases referring to LabWest Ultrafine Analysis

Video on Regional Mapping in SA using Ultrafine+

UltraFine+™ Orientation Study Examples

Orientation study comparing LabWest UltraFine+™ to 25g aqua regia and partial leach data – Gascoyne Ashburton basin

Orientation study comparing LabWest UltraFine+™ to whole-soil aqua regia – Paterson region

Application of Recent Innovations in Exploration Geochemistry. A presentation by Dennis Arne, 27th May 2021, James Cook University