Method for ultra-low-level analysis of gold in rocks

Pitcairn, I.K., Warwick, P.E., Milton, J.A. and Teagle, D.A.H. (2006) Method for ultra-low-level analysis of gold in rocks. Analytical Chemistry, 78, (4), 1290-1295. (doi:10.1021/ac051861z).


[img] PDF - Version of Record
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (126Kb) | Request a copy


A new method for analyzing gold at ultralow concentrations (<10 pg/g) in geological samples has been developed involving HF-aqua regia acid digestion, chromatographic separation of Au from matrix elements using DIBK supported on an inert resin, and analysis by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICPMS). This method has an analytical detection limit of 2 parts per trillion (pg/g), significantly lower than most routinely used methods developed for analysis of ore samples with Au concentrations considerably higher than average crustal abundance (~2 ng/g). Such methods commonly have detection limits in the low nanogram per gram range. Many areas of geological research including ore genesis, crustal mobility and redistribution, planetary differentiation, and plume volcanism require quantitative analysis of geological materials with much lower Au concentrations. We present a rapid, easy to use method where Au is separated from matrix elements onto extractant primed chromatographic resin and analyzed by quadrupole ICPMS. The method is suitable for the relatively rapid analysis of a large number of samples and is reliable over a wide range of concentrations from picogram to microgram per gram level. Analysis of four different geostandards, GXR1, GXR4, CH-3, and SARM 7, yields concentrations within error of the published concentrations with accuracies of >95%.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1021/ac051861z
ISSNs: 0003-2700 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Ocean & Earth Science (SOC/SOES)
ePrint ID: 44790
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2007
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:18

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics