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Siberian scientists have increased the accuracy of detecting precious metals in rocks by 100 times

11.04.2018 93 просмотров

Specialists from Irkutsk and Novosibirsk have created equipment for express analysis of geological samples, which is capable of determining extremely low concentrations of precious metals - up to 10 mg per ton.


“We have applied a method that allows us to reduce the limits of detection in rocks of precious metals – gold, silver, platinum, palladium – by 100 times. Usually the limit is 1 gram per ton, we have it - 10 mg per ton,” Vladimir Labusov, head of the laboratory for optical information systems of the Institute of Automation and Electrometry (IA&E) of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told TASS. 

The principle of operation is based on method of scintillation atomic emission analysis: geological samples ground to a powder are gradually introduced into the plasma of an electric arc, the particles heat up and evaporate, and the atoms of chemical elements that make up them emit photons at their characteristic wavelengths. 

the computer enters a sequence of tens of thousands of spectra of this radiation. When particles containing precious metals enter the plasma, flashes of their spectral lines are observed. 

The advantage of the method is its speed - the samples do not need to be dissolved - and sensitivity due to the high brightness of the flashes. In addition, due to the simultaneous registration of the entire radiation spectrum, it is possible to evaluate the mineral composition of particles containing precious metals. This is important for specialists who will develop the technology for their extraction, TASS clarifies. 

According to V. Labusov, some companies in Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are already using equipment that has no analogues in the world for exploration fossils.

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