XRF Core Analyzers for Exploration Drilling

Handheld XRF analyzers have become extremely valuable to exploration drilling. There are many advantages to being able to acquire real-time results in minutes, or even seconds, as opposed to waiting days or even weeks for the Lab to deliver your results. A handheld XRF analyzer can literally guide your exploration drilling efficiently and effectively while saving money in a variety of ways. 

Contact our handheld XRF team to discuss your analysis needs now!

When conducting exploration drilling in a remote location, it can be very expensive to send core to the lab. If you’re sending core via helicopter, the costs can exceed budget very quickly. A handheld XRF analyzer allows you to analyze the core before loading it onto the helicopter to make certain the core you are choosing to send to the lab is not barren. Once you have a correlation between the lab and the XRF analyzer, you can use the data from the instrument to determine the geochemistry of a hole in real time. The time, effort and money saved adds up very quickly.

There are two techniques typically used when analyzing core. One technique, spot testing, relies on the geologist operating the XRF to use his depth of knowledge and ability to identify areas of the core where he/she can visually see metals. The other technique is a scanning technique where the operator drags the XRF up and down the core analyzing where they can visually see minerals as well as where they can visually identify there does not appear to be any minerals to get an average result of the entire core. There are many nuances involved in each of these techniques, but spot testing tends to work better on nuggety core so as not to get a false high reading of the average mineral content of the core.

Handheld XRF can also be used to improve the efficiency of your drilling program by making certain the drill rig is operating in the mineralized zone. By analyzing directly on the drill cuttings or drill chips one can determine whether or not the drill rig is actually drilling in the mineralized zone or if the mineralized zone has dropped off. Traditional lab techniques can take days even weeks to furnish results while in situ field analysis provides results in minutes, often seconds. This provides the geologist real time data directly from the hole generating a geochemical profile that will guide him/her in making decisions such as whether or not to continue drilling beyond 2000 feet. Determining when to call a hole and when to continue drilling can be very tricky. The last thing you want to do is halt drilling above the base of the anomaly. Handheld XRF can provide real time data that allows you to make these decisions with confidence. Get in touch with our knowledgeable sales department for more information!