Portable Hard Rock Mining

Fast, accurate geochemical analysis, virtually anywhere on site

Whether you’re looking for base metals or precious metals, Thermo Scientific™ Niton™ portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzers provide you with mining exploration assay data within seconds, allowing for real-time ore deposit modeling and ore grade control.

Traditional mining sample analysis often involves a costly and time consuming process of sending samples to off-site laboratories and waiting days, even weeks, for the results. Niton analyzers can provide laboratory-grade sample analysis for rapid feedback during drilling operations, or to prequalify samples for off-site lab analysis.

Low detection limits plus light element analysis – without helium purge or vacuum – allow you to identify element concentrations at or below the averages naturally found in the earth's crust, detecting even the most subtle geochemical anomalies. Our analyzers can be operated virtually anywhere on site and easily accommodate a wide variation of samples with little or no preparation, whether they are in the form of drill core, bagged samples, or cut directly from the mine face.

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Applications

Grade Control

Grade Control

Mining geologists perform ore grade control to figure out where the most profitable ore bodies are, in terms of location and mineral concentration variability. Ore deposits are inconsistent in nature, having high concentrations of metals in one area but much lower concentrations in others. Niton instruments provide fast acquisition of geochemical data for ore deposit modeling, easily determining elemental constituents for most natural low concentration samples, as well as high grade ore concentrates. Ore-grade assessment helps manage blasting, excavation, and hauling activities, optimizing the site blend provided to the concentrator while preventing grade dilution or the erroneous transport of ore to the waste dump.

  • Rapidly delineate ore boundaries and quickly identify increasingly low-grade deposits 
  • Instantly flag grade, sub-grade, and waste 

Geochemical Mapping

The data collected during the grade control processes helps mining geologists conduct quantitative geochemical analysis of metal concentrations. Niton analyzers can be carried anywhere at the mine site to collect hundreds, even thousands of analyses at no additional cost. This data helps to create composite maps of elemental distributions within a sample and determine where the best targets are located. Geochemical maps can be used to see an anomaly or trend, make the most efficient and economical drilling and excavation decisions, and ensure that your mining plan will yield a sufficient return on investment. Niton analyzers come equipped with GPS, GIS, and data management options for real-time assessment of geochemical data in the field.

  • Obtain large volumes of exploration data for mapping and financial reporting
  • Identify areas for infill sampling, drilling or more detailed investigation
Geochemical Mapping
Environmental Compliance

Environmental Compliance

Mining processes produce toxic waste that can result in acid mine drainage and groundwater contamination. Niton analyzers effectively perform "double-duty" when used to monitor elemental contaminants in soil, sediments, and tailings at mine sites and in waste streams, in addition to exploration and mining applications. 

  • Quantify RCRA and EPA priority pollutants, including sulfur, lead, and arsenic, in waste streams 
  • Secure tamperproof, legally defensible data to prove financial, environmental, and social responsibility 
  • Make defensible operational decisions.