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Fe-Ore Mineralization Heavy & Light Element Analysis


The Olympus DELTA couples an ultra high resolution Silicon Drift Detector (SDD) with a powerful 4W X-ray tube, delivering the fastest, most precise analysis available today in a handheld X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer. SDDs provide three major improvements over traditional Si PiN Diode X-ray detectors: 1) the ability to detect and process 10× more X-rays in a given amount of time, 2) better energy resolution, and 3) improved peak-to-background ratio. The result is far better precision and lower limits of detection for Mining and Exploration applications.

Unprecedented Performance in Iron Ores & Associated Trace Elements:

Optimal feed grade for iron ore concentrates is usually in excess of 60% Fe by weight, with less than 0.20% P, 3-7% silica, less than 5% Al, and low S and Ti.

Delta Handheld XRF in inspector's hand

The inclusion of even small amounts of some trace elements can have profound effects, both good and bad, on the behavior of iron in a blast furnace. The DELTA analyzer, with SDD technology, now enables the determination of all important phases of iron ores. Fe content can be accurately and precisely determined over a broad analytical range (30% to 80% Fe). Mn, Ti, Al, Si, P, and S can also be accurately analyzed, along with 25 other elements.

Data Result Graphs of Fe, Mg, Titanium
Iron, Manganese, Titanium, Aluminum, Silicon and Phosphorus Performance on Typical Hematite Rich, Banded Iron Ore. (90 sec test time in AIR using a DELTA SDD Analyzer)

Light Element Analysis and Sample Preparation

In Field Portable X-ray Fluorescence (FPXRF) analysis, light elements (LE) are generally regarded as those with Atomic number (Z) less than 18 (Argon) and usually refer to the group: Mg, Al, Si, P, S and Cl. The investigation of Bauxite deposits is dominated by this LE suite, particularly Al, Si + Ca and K, and the mineralization style is often hosted in a coarse crystalline matrix. Therefore, they are significantly influenced by high sample heterogeneity and in order to achieve meaningful (decision level) analytical quality it may be necessary to undertake some form of sample preparation. This can involve a coarse crush and if necessary, pulverizing of the sample to 200μm and then placing into an XRF sample cup using Polypropylene film supports (as opposed to Mylar film which cannot be used for looking at LE).

Why Use FPXRF?

The aspect of “True Portability” with the latest generation of XRF essentially enables the ability to bring a “miniaturized version of the laboratory” into the field, with obvious limitations. Olympus is clear and transparent about these limitations: (1) Higher LOD’s than lab-based techniques; (2) Lower precision than lab-based techniques (higher ± values but no compromise on accuracy above LOD’s; (3) Less repeatable results.

FPXRF should not to be seen as a replacement for the laboratory and should be used in conjunction with laboratory and industry standard reporting protocols such as determined by the ASX (JORC CODE) and the TSX (43-101). The main advantage of FPXRF lies in the ability to generate dynamic, real-time, spatially registered geochemical data sets, rapidly.

The Geoscientist can now immediately postulate the elemental characteristics of the observed regolith or lithology dynamically, making informed decisions while still in the field, at the exact location of the sample of interest. Instant and interactive approaches to exploration project management, target delineation and associated vectoring towards mineralization are now possible. This results in significantly reduced time-frames with less time intensive reiterations, such as excavating samples and sending them to the lab with the associated “normal” lengthy turnaround times and lags. FPXRF can be thought of as being a pre-screening tool used to select the best and most appropriate sample to submit to the Laboratory for comprehensive and more detailed analysis.

Additionally, the ability to refine your sampling program in the field real-time means that you can easily increase sample density and resolution instantaneously.

These field based efficiency gains are advancing project time-frames and assisting companies to better utilize their time in the field and maximize their exploration budget.

LOD's: The Million Dollar Question

The determination of the analytical limit of detection (LOD’s) depends on many aspects, not directly related to the instrumentation of choice. Some of these influences include (influential factor denoted in brackets):

  • The energy of excitation or X-ray source (instrument). Note: This is not all about obtaining the maximum voltage (or keV). It is reliant on the process of fine-tuning both the X-ray voltage and current to maximize the received count rate and therefore analytical precision (instrument).
  • The Atomic Number and associated response of element(s) being analyzed (sample).
  • Concentration of elements present (sample).
  • Relative density and matrix composition (sample).
  • Sample size, granularity and surface geometry (sample and user).
  • Length of test run (user).
  • The quality of the instrument calibration and QC samples used to “tweak” the instrument (user and instrument).

Delta Handheld XRF Analyzer testing steel

“As such, the sample is the most influential factor with regards to determining lod’s when using FPXRF”

Olympus IMS
应用所使用的产品

DELTA Professional将硅漂移探测器(SDD)和一个4W优化X射线管结合在一起使用,可在检测速度、检出限及可检元素的范围方面提供极为优质的性能。它可以分析合金和矿石中镁(Mg)及原子数更高的元素。DELTA Professional是Olympus所生产的最具问题解决价值的手持式XRF分析仪。
TERRA可移动XRD系统是一款高性能、全封闭、电池操作、封闭声束型手持式XRD,可提供对材料主要成分、次要成分或微量成分进行辨别的全面概括总结,可以通过一次快速XRF扫查对钙和铀元素在被测产品中所占比例进行检测。这种极为简单的独特的采样准备技术以及样件箱体使得快速的现场分析成为可能。
BTX工作台式XRD系统是一款快速、低成本、小脚印、可放于工作台上的XRD,可提供对材料主要成分、次要成分或微量成分进行辨别的全面概括总结,可以通过一次快速XRF扫查对钙和铀元素在被测产品中所占比例进行检测。与耗资极高的大型实验室设备相比,这种极为简单的独特的采样准备技术及样件箱体使得在工作台上的快速的分析成为可能。
DELTA矿业和地质化学手持式XRF分析仪可以即时得到检测结果,有助于决定整个程序中的下一步操作:勘探、矿石定级/处理控制、环境的可持续性。可在现场探测金属、矿物质和污染物质。GPS-GIS-XRF用于即时金属成像,既节省时间又节省成本。
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