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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X


LOMBERG, K.. Best practice sampling methods, assay techniques, and quality control with reference to the platinum group elements (PGEs). J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2014, vol.114, n.1, pp.53-62. ISSN 2411-9717.

In this paper the process of sampling and assaying as it relates in particular to the platinum group elements (PGEs) is presented. A discussion of the geology of PGE deposits is included to provide an understanding of the mineralization that is considered necessary prior to sampling, as this has a direct bearing on the mineral resource estimate and also the selection of an appropriate mining cut. The discussion includes the selection of the sampling technique (drilling or face sampling), the size of the sample relating to the requirements of the laboratory, the potential mining cut, as well as a reference to sampling theory. The selection of an assay technique that is appropriate and will yield the optimal result based on sample turnaround, precision, accuracy, and cost is then considered. Examples are drawn from work undertaken on the Bushveld Complex (Merensky Reef, UG2 Chromitite Layer, Platreef) and Great Dyke (Main Sulphide Zone). A discussion of the appropriate QA/QC programme includes the chain of custody, CRM selection and the QA/QC process.

Keywords : sampling; assaying; QA/QC; platinum group elements.

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