Elemental and Mineral Distribution in Exotic-Cu Deposits

The ability to observe elemental changes within samples is important to understand geological processes and ore deposit genesis. The dual source system which incorporates a micro-XRF on a SEM enables elemental X-ray mapping over large areas, which shows major, minor and also trace elements on the ppm scale. 

The figure shows a micro-XRF large area X-ray map (45 x 30 mm²) of a sample from an exotic copper deposit showing the element distribution information for copper (red), calcium (green), manganese (blue), silicon (purple), and chlorine (dark green). In addition, in this sample it is possible to detect trace elements such as Co and Sr that are not detectable by e-beam EDS as the concentrations are too low and/or the relevant element energy line is too high. Such information allows a greater understanding of their distribution and mineralogical and textural relationships and the deposit genesis.

Large area X-ray map (45 mm x 30 mm) of an exotic copper deposit sample acquired with XTrace (Analytical parameters: Tube voltage Rh at 50 kV, Anode current 600 µA, Pixel spacing 25 µm, Analytical time 101 min). Top row left: Quantified Cu elemental map (QMap); right: Mixed elemental intensity map; Bottom row from left to right: Phase map (P1 Chrysocolla – red; P2 Atacamite – green; P3 Cu-Mn Wad – blue; P4 Carbonate – sky blue); trace element intensity maps of Sr (blue) and Co (yellow); total X-ray intensity map (similar to a BSE image, grey).