Mining Analysis with Handheld XRF Analyzers for Use Directly on the Mine Face or Pit-Face
Handheld XRF analyzers can be used for all phases of mining. Whether you’re 800 feet underground analyzing the mine face or on the surface taking pit-face analyses, handheld XRF can guide you with swift, accurate data. Handheld XRF analyzers are small, robust, precise and accurate. If your needs require multiple applications, your instrument can be specifically calibrated for each mining activity if necessary. With the option of either tweaking a pre-existing calibration or creating your own onsite calibration, XRF analyzers have flexibility to suit your diverse needs.
Dragging bags of heavy samples back up the mine shaft can be an arduous task. The additional time it takes to analyze these samples via AA can also cause delays. Handheld XRF analyzers afford you the ability to analyze location points to guide you to determining which points to excavate next. By analyzing several areas in a grid pattern you can easily guide excavation activity. Averaging these readings provides detailed information that allows you to make informed decisions. By using the XRF analyzer as a guide underground or at the surface, you can take a limited amount of samples to the lab for confirmation which saves you time, effort and money.
Analyzing directly on the face provides valuable information for managing excavation. Even in a high grade situation such as percentage concentrations of Molybdenum (Mo), a handheld XRF analyzer can be used. Typically XRF analyzers are designed and calibrated for trace level elemental analysis. However, if necessary, custom calibrations provide the ability to analyze high grade material or diverse matrices accurately and precisely. Typically, analyzing 10 to 15 samples with the XRF and sending these exact samples to the lab to create a calibration curve is all that is required to dial in your XRF for high grade material while still maintaining the ability to analyze trace elements. With the option of using FP, site specific calibrations or Compton Normalization, your instrument is prepared to tackle any application.
What is unique about XRF analysis in the instrumentation world is that they actually provide an estimate of the error with each reading. The longer the analysis time the more precise the analysis will be. The instrument displays both the analysis and an estimate of the standard deviation allowing the operator to continue the measurement to a desired precision. With this type of data available at the mine face, you save time and money as well as provide yourself the ability to guide operations with confidence.