Combining Benchtop μ-XRF with SEM-EDS Automated Feature Analysis for Advanced Mineral Classification and Ore Characterization
- Ore thick section from the Sudbury Igneous Complex, Parkin dike. Top: part of the composite μ-XRF element map showing the distribution of iron, nickel, copper and silicon. Bottom: corresponding section of the single element map of cobalt. The yellow arrow indicates the association of cobalt and nickel in pentlandite, the red arrow points to an arsenide grain.
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The efficient characterization of ore minerals is becoming increasingly important to determine whether they have a sufficient content of sought-after valuable elements and consequently mining them is of economic interest. This article describes a procedure consisting of three analytical steps to investigate these factors on ore samples – thick sections – using benchtop micro-X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF) spectrometry in combination with energy-dispersive spectrometry (EDS) on the scanning electron microscope (SEM).
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