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The sample is fused in a ceramic crucible with litharge, sodium carbonate, borax and flour at 1080ºC.
The 25-50 gram lead button is cupelled in a magnesite cupel at 900ºC for 60 minutes.
The silver bead is parted with concentrated nitric acid. Hydrochloric acid is then added to generate chlorine and nitrosoyl chloride that dissolves the PGM sponge.
Gold, Palladium and Platinum may be determined by this technique. Digested samples are read on an ICP-AES. Parted prills can be weighed and reported as gold.
ICP readings typically have a +/- 3-5% variation. Gravimetric determinations for gold and silver are less accurate at low levels (< 3 ppm) but more acurate (< 1% variation) above 3ppm than ICP. Gravimetric reported gold results include any palladium, platinum and retained silver.
DETECTION LIMIT: ICP, GRAVIMETRIC
Overrange result will trigger a Gravimetric Fire Assay repeat
Results can be reported in client requested units