Speeding up ore discovery with Cytek’s Olympus Portable XRF technology

By on June 20, 2018

Olympus portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) analyzers distributed by Cytek Solutions, Inc. in the Philippines provide real-time geochemical data for rapid multi-element characterization of soils, rocks, ores, concentrates, and tailings.

Recent advances in portable XRF technology have improved the limits of detection, increased the number of elements measured, and reduced analysis test times.

When used for mineral exploration and grade assessment, the Olympus Vanta and DELTA portable XRF analyzers can provide real-time analysis of copper, gold, tin manganese, Rare earths and more found in rocks, soil, sediment, drill cuttings, and drill core samples.

Pre-screening enables rapid exploration targeting, priority sample selection for laboratory analysis, and improved drill hole decision-making.

Measurements of key elements which could be Gold(Au), nickel (Ni), iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), titanium (Ti), and Cobalt (Co), etc. as well as the calculation of their respective ratios, enable rapid assessment of barren or mineralized ultramafic styles of mineralizations.

These measurements can also enable assessment of the potential for anomalous Au, Pb, Zn, Cu, Ag or Ni enrichment or favorable physical volcanic emplacement processes and the stratigraphic relationship to existing ore and sulfide (XXS) ore formation.

 XRF for Grade Control

Portable XRF analyzers are used around the world for monitoring ore grade in active open pit and underground mines.

Specifically, XRF analyzers are used for direct analysis of blast hole cuttings in mines, as a preliminary guide on direct rock faces underground, open pit faces, and within Ni mine labs after sample preparation.

In mines where rapid grade assessment is beneficial, portable XRF can be used to optimize runof- mine (ROM) stockpiles and help ensure consistent blending and feeding to the mill.

The data and results in Figure 2 illustrate the performance of the DELTA Premium portable XRF analyzer on OREAS 70 Series certified reference materials.

Samples tested were in powdered form, contained in XRF sample cups.

Each sample was measured for 60 seconds.

The DELTA analyzer results indicate excellent correlation with certified values.

 Measurement of Penalty and Deleterious Elements

Portable XRF analyzers can also accurately measure the concentrations of undesirable elements within NiS deposits.

The presence of elements like arsenic (As), lead (Pb), bismuth (Bi), and Zinc (Zn) within NiS deposits are penalized at the smelter gate unless blended to dilute their concentration.

High Fe:MgO ratios are favored over elevated Mg-rich minerals, such as talc and fibrous serpentine, which can be problematic for conventional process circuits and significantly impact the quality of recovery.

As a final benefit, the XRF analyzer can reduce the use of hydrofluoric acid in the laboratory to analyze some of these elements, such as As.

The result is a safer working environment at the mine site laboratory.


Cytek’s Olympus Vanta and DELTA portable XRF analyzers provide convenient, rapid measurements of many types of samples associated with NiS exploration, within NiS mines, mine labs, and Ni processing facilities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *