The handheld portable X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) analyser has become a common tool for field geoscientists, and is being used in a range of applications, says analysing and nondestructive testing equipment supplier GammaTec SciAps product specialist Lyndon Momberg.
GammaTec is the exclusive distributor of the XRF analyser – manufactured by handheld analyser producer SciAps – in non-Francophone African countries, as of January 2020.
XRF is a non-destructive analytical method used to determine elemental concentrations in various materials. The portable XRF unit is designed for core analysis – an exploration technique used to define the mineral content and elements in a sample – or in any application requiring high-volume manual testing.
Momberg explains that when used in conjunction with a well-planned laboratory analysis programme, XRF can provide real-time information to improve decision-making.
The technique of measuring and mapping the concentrations and combination of elements associated with, for example, gold mineralisation, can assist in potentially identifying targets as well as inform geologists on the style of mineralisation, he clarifies.
These elements and their unique signatures are often referred to as pathfinder elements.
Momberg adds that the detection limits for gold are similar to many other metals with pathfinder elements in the range of 1 ppm to 10 ppm. The detection and subsequent measurement of gold concentrations are often not feasible using XRF in an exploration setting as the concentrations related to anomalies are typically sub-ppm.
SciAps offers a range of XRF analysers that provide cost-effective solutions for the mineral exploration and mining industries.”
He explains that with options of anode choice and carefully selected element suites that deliver industry-leading analytical performance – combined with flexible and intuitive Android user interface – SciAps is a “natural choice for the serious explorer or miner”.
Meanwhile, as previously reported by Mining Weekly, Momberg highlighted that SciAps, being a fairly new market entrant into the mining sector with these analysers, places more importance on its achieving brand recognition.
He emphasised that SciAps is very active in terms of research and development, which exclusively focuses on handheld analysers. These analysers can, for example, measure lithium in soils, ores and brines, as well as the carbon content in steel.
One of the most significant advantages they provide is instantaneous results, said Momberg. This negates the requirement to extract, package, and then send samples to a laboratory to perform analysis.
He concludes that GammaTec, as a well-established supplier of nondestructive testing, inspection and monitoring equipment globally, is currently embarking on a focussed drive to assist companies operating in the Copperbelt in Africa.