SANDS EXPLORATION SERVICES CAPABILITY
Geotrack International Pty Ltd offers a range of services
to the mineral sands industry aimed at providing focussed and cost-effective
solutions to common exploration and development problems. All services
are performed in-house at our Melbourne Laboratory complex by experienced
personnel, ensuring high-quality analyses in a timely fashion.
Characterisation of Mineral
Uranium content and distribution
- UMAP technology
Zircon grain mount (X 125)
Fission track print in mica (X 125)
|The density of
fission tracks is directly proportional to the U-content of
the corresponding grains. Note the extreme variation in U-content
and zoned distribution.
The uranium content of rutile and zircon, in particular, is a key constraint
on the marketability of mineral product. In the United States, for instance,
transport of zircon sands with only moderate uranium content is highly
restricted and requires special permit procedures and stringent conditions.
These restrictions significantly increase the cost of movement and hence
the final product. Low U feed stock is thus a very desirable commodity.
Geotracks UMAP technology allows the rapid
and accurate determination of uranium in any mineral on an individual
grain basis. This enables low-U deposits to be cost-effectively targeted
early in the exploration phase potentially preventing costly works on
non-viable prospects. The technology is also used in tracing uranium
through processing plants, essential for rapid process development and
We have also developed this technique to identify low-uranium
zircons as a diamond indicator mineral, being particularly suitable
for studies in highly weathered terrains where the common indicator
suite is absent.
- Zircon Fission Track and CHIME Monazite dating
Geotrack offers the only fully commercial fission track
dating and analysis services in Australia with each of the senior staff
having been involved with this technology for more than 20 years. Single
grain fission track dating of zircon (ZFTA) provides the most
cost-effective dating technology for mineral sands provenance studies
and this can be complemented by fission track dating of both sphene
and apatite and the CHIME TH-U-total Pb technique for monazite. Costs
can be lower than $25.00 per grain for CHIME and $120.00 per grain for
Our Melbourne laboratory complex houses a comprehensive
mineral separation facility for small sample analysis constructed and
maintained to all current Australian Standards. Equipment includes fume
cupboards for heavy liquid separations, Wilfley separation table, Frantz
magnetic separators, jaw and plate crushers, washing and drying facilities.
Geotrack is AQIS (Australia Quarantine Inspection Service) licensed
and is able to receive and treat overseas samples of both rocks and
soils for analysis without costly delays.
identification - Scanning Electron Microscopy
Mineral identifications can be performed by semi-quantitative
X-ray analysis using our Jeol JSM 35 scanning electron microscope equipped
with a Kevex EDS system. Typically a diagnostic X-Ray spectrum can be
collected in less than 30 seconds, providing a very cost-effective identification
of problem minerals. A WDS spectrometer allows quantitative analysis
of a variety of elements if required. Digital imaging is standard on
Our SEM equipment can normally be available with less
than 1 hour notice, to suite your immediate requirements.
mineral composition - Electron microprobe
Quantitative analysis of minerals is performed using
a fully automated Jeol JXA-5A electron microprobe equipped with 3 WDS
spectrometers. The unit has a computer controlled x-y-z stage system
allowing off site analysis position information to be transferred ensuring
minimum machine time charges. Systems can be developed (mostly at no
charge to the client) for the quantitative analysis of most minerals,
using a comprehensive suite of international standards for optimum accuracy.
Precision can be tailored to client requirements within equipment limits.
Our Operations Manager, Pat Kelly has more than 25 years direct experience
running, maintaining and using electron beam equipment ensuring a high
quality result every time.