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Sample Weight: 50 g


The sample is mixed with nickel and sulfur to collect the suite of Platinum Group Elements (PGEs). Fluxing agents are added to assist with melting and promote separation from waste (gangue) materials. After cooling, the gangue is separated and discarded as a glassy slag from the PGE-containing nickel sulfide button. This button is dissolved in concentrated hydrochloric acid, co-precipitated with tellurium and filtered. The residue is then analyzed by INAA.

Method 22 Elements and Reporting Limits
Element Concentration (low) Concentration (high)
Ir, Iridium 1 ppb 1,000 ppb
Os, Osmium 10 ppb 1,000 ppb
Pd, Palladium 20 ppb 10,000 ppb
Pt, Platinum 20 ppb 10,000 ppb
Rh, Rhodium 5 ppb 1,000 ppb
Ru, Ruthenium 50 ppb 20,000 ppb

Analytical Performance

Data will be deemed acceptable if recovery of each element is ±15% at five times the Lower Limit of Determination (LOD) and the calculated percent Relative Standard Deviation (RSD) of duplicate samples is no greater than 15%.

Project Contact

Jaime Azain
Phone: 303-236-9376
Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center

Mineral Resources Program Science Priority

The use of firm, trade, and brand names is for identification purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. government.

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