Geochemists at KCB’s Brisbane office have been using handheld X-ray Fluorescence (HHXRF) and in-field ARD testing over the last few years. These field geochemical testing methods provide more confidence in our mine waste characterisation programs, and lead to cost-savings for our clients.
Many in-field programs are simply observational. This significantly increases the time taken to investigate samples as the laboratory needs to ensure appropriate sample selection. In-field testing during sampling, however, can improve the screening process prior to laboratory testing.
James Tuff and Brent Usher’s article in the newest AUSIMM quarterly provides a good overview of the uses, advantages and application of these methods. The authors show that employing in-field geochemical testing techniques provides at least a semi-quantitative framework in which to choose samples for laboratory testing.