Customisable Mineral Liberation

From lithium to heavy metals, Microanalysis offers customisable mineral liberation and association analysis for ores and concentrates of all kinds. Complementary to our petrographic capabilities, Microanalysis can analyse a range of particulate sizes up to 3 mm and provide additional manual analysis for particles >3 mm.

INCA Mineral by Oxford Instruments (product information available here) is a software package allowing for automated mineralogical analysis including mineral liberation, association data, size, morphology, deportment and more. INCA Mineral can emulate QEMScan data outputs, and be customised so you get only the information you need.

Usually QEMScan is recommended for particles up to to 500 µm – using a custom setup of INCA Mineral, our technique can analyse particles up to 3 mm. Still too small? Microanalysis has developed an equivalent, manual, technique for particles >3 mm using a combination of correlated optical and electron imaging, EDS and X-ray mapping.

Speaking of small – light elements (H, He, Li, Be) are always problematic from an analytical point of view. Too small for XRF and even EDS, indirect detection methods are required to ‘see’ lithium in mineral samples. Using image contrast and Si:Al ratio we differentiate spodumene and petalite from non-lithium aluminosilicate minerals, allowing us to determine the liberation and association of lithium bearing minerals. Lithium-bearing micas are even trickier, with a wide range of elemental compositions, so we combine our geological and petrographical expertise to characterise the lithium bearing micas and create a ‘fingerprint’ for the lithium bearing species, using the trace substitutions and specific elemental ratios to classify these minerals. We cross check our data with XRD results to give a comprehensive mineralogical assessment.

Whether it’s characterisation of light element minerals, characterising impurities in high purity sands, or simply gaining an idea of what your sample is, Microanalysis can help you get the most from your samples using our technology and expertise.

  • NATA
  • Australian Institute of Petroleum
  • Australian X-Ray Analytical Association
  • Royal Australian Chemical Institute
  • Telstra Business Awards
  • Scientific Partners Australia