With increasing environmental, climatic and health restrictions on resource supply, the requirement for sampling trace elements is increasingly important.
Toxic, carcinogenic, polluting, bio-hazard, radioactive and other dangerous elements can have adverse effects if present in concentrations as low as 1 part per million (ppm) or even -billion (ppb). For example, iron ore mines are required to sample product concentrate for Fe- and Silica content, as well as Sulphur. Additionally, gold mines may be required to sample the arsenic content of their intermittent product streams.
The sparse distribution and low grades of these harmful elements result in high grade variance around their average concentration, requiring a rigorous sampling solution in frequency of sample taking and sample size to sample the analyte with the required confidence. Precision samplers with attention to ToS (Theory of Sampling) design, fabrication and quality controlled tolerances are required for such sampling requirements.
Multotec’s range of precision dry- and slurry sampling equipment has been developed in the most demanding precious metal operations for over 3 decades. Our solutions can be employed on an intermittent or continuous-division methodology in trace element sampling applications.
Our experience in designing sampling solutions across industries and requirements allows our specialists to tailor a sampling solution that will sample low concentration analytes with high precision, giving you peace of mind and quality assurance.
Sampling of slurries and dry material streams with metal accounting precision isn’t just important for commercial evaluations, but also process evaluation and resource declaration to statutory and regulatory bodies.
In most cases, the grade and variability of valuable elements or minerals are the important analyte from such sample. Sampling protocol design for bulk commodities and base metals can sometimes be relaxed by consistent product grades with low variability, often produced by well-controlled and multi-stage processing plants.
Low variability around a high target value of the analyte grade requires a sampling solution with less frequent sample cuts and size to achieve statistically accurate sampling precision levels, where cutting-edge sampling technology, designed around the principles of the Theory of Sampling (TOS) is used. Some of these commodities’ sampling precision are generally predictable and then guided by ISO-standards towards sample frequency and size as a function of particle top size and material lot size.
When sampling precious metals and trace minerals, low grades with frequent and statistically significant variance around the analyte target value requires more frequent, larger samples to accurately account for grade/process variations.
This requirement is not restricted to the minerals industry, but also required by pharmaceutical, biological, vaccine, food and beverage, food stock, feed grain and more.