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Minerals 2016, 6(4), 111; doi:10.3390/min6040111

Trace Element Analysis of Minerals in Magmatic-Hydrothermal Ores by Laser Ablation Inductively-Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry: Approaches and Opportunities

1
School of Chemical Engineering, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
2
School of Physical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
3
State Key Laboratory for Mineral Deposits Research, Department of Earth Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
4
Adelaide Microscopy, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
5
BHP Billiton Olympic Dam Operations, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Antonio Simonetti
Received: 31 July 2016 / Revised: 15 August 2016 / Accepted: 16 August 2016 / Published: 20 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Analytical Techniques)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [15671 KB, uploaded 20 October 2016]   |  

Abstract

Laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) has rapidly established itself as the method of choice for generation of multi-element datasets for specific minerals, with broad applications in Earth science. Variation in absolute concentrations of different trace elements within common, widely distributed phases, such as pyrite, iron-oxides (magnetite and hematite), and key accessory minerals, such as apatite and titanite, can be particularly valuable for understanding processes of ore formation, and when trace element distributions vary systematically within a mineral system, for a vector approach in mineral exploration. LA-ICP-MS trace element data can assist in element deportment and geometallurgical studies, providing proof of which minerals host key elements of economic relevance, or elements that are deleterious to various metallurgical processes. This contribution reviews recent advances in LA-ICP-MS methodology, reference standards, the application of the method to new mineral matrices, outstanding analytical uncertainties that impact on the quality and usefulness of trace element data, and future applications of the technique. We illustrate how data interpretation is highly dependent on an adequate understanding of prevailing mineral textures, geological history, and in some cases, crystal structure. View Full-Text
Keywords: laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry; trace element data; ore genesis; sulphide minerals laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry; trace element data; ore genesis; sulphide minerals
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Cook, N.; Ciobanu, C.L.; George, L.; Zhu, Z.-Y.; Wade, B.; Ehrig, K. Trace Element Analysis of Minerals in Magmatic-Hydrothermal Ores by Laser Ablation Inductively-Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry: Approaches and Opportunities. Minerals 2016, 6, 111.

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