Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Method for ultra-low-level analysis of gold in rocks

By I.K. Pitcairn, P.E. Warwick, J.A. Milton and D.A.H. Teagle


A new method for analyzing gold at ultralow concentrations (&lt;10 pg/g) in geological samples has been developed involving HF-aqua regia acid digestion, chromatographic separation of Au from matrix elements using DIBK supported on an inert resin, and analysis by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICPMS). This method has an analytical detection limit of 2 parts per trillion (pg/g), significantly lower than most routinely used methods developed for analysis of ore samples with Au concentrations considerably higher than average crustal abundance (~2 ng/g). Such methods commonly have detection limits in the low nanogram per gram range. Many areas of geological research including ore genesis, crustal mobility and redistribution, planetary differentiation, and plume volcanism require quantitative analysis of geological materials with much lower Au concentrations. We present a rapid, easy to use method where Au is separated from matrix elements onto extractant primed chromatographic resin and analyzed by quadrupole ICPMS. The method is suitable for the relatively rapid analysis of a large number of samples and is reliable over a wide range of concentrations from picogram to microgram per gram level. Analysis of four different geostandards, GXR1, GXR4, CH-3, and SARM 7, yields concentrations within error of the published concentrations with accuracies of &gt;95%. <br/><br/

Topics: QE
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:
Provided by: e-Prints Soton
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.