New AAS/XRF equipment speeds up assay works

In its desire to provide a more accurate and faster chemical analysis of nickel ore, Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation (MMDC) continuously acquires top of the line equipment and machineries such as the newly purchased assay laboratory equipment.

This year, MMDC also bought the “Shimadzu” XRF=EDX–7000 that can provide analysis on iron, nickel and cobalt simultaneously. It was acquired for around P4 million.

“From ore sample, we just have to put hoist wax and then compress and place it on the machine and you have the results ready. This is far quicker and produces less digestion, less acid,” said Ms. Gail G. Navarro, MMDC's Acting Chief Chemist.

“For saprolite, we use AAS to analyze the grade; for laterite we use XRF but still we base the results from three analyses to ensure that we determine the correct grade: XRF, AAS and wet analysis or titration,” Engr. Navarro added.

Ms. Navarro underscored the purchase of the equipment as it has drastically reduced time in obtaining results, resulting in improved output. She noted that they can generate results within an hour using the XRF machine, compared with the AAS which normally takes 6 hours.

The new acquisitions are on top of the company’s existing lab equipment, such as the “Shimadzu” AAS–Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer that analyzes the percent iron, nickel and cobalt through individual analysis. The company also has an “Oxford Instrument” XRF=X- Supreme touch screen that was bought at the around P3.5 million in 2012.