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Sample Preparation

Sample Preparation

The importance of sample preparation cannot be overstated and the quality of preparation provides the foundation for accurate and reliable results. MinAnalytical’s approach to preparation ensures that all samples are processed with meticulous care to ensure fine grinding and homogeneity whilst maintaining the integrity of the sample.

Sample Preparation

Sample preparation selections are important and are dependent on sample type, size, mineralogy and analysis requirements.

Dedicated high and low level sample preparation areas have been established to separate greenfields exploration from advanced resource development samples. Vacuum and compressed air cleaning protocols have been incorporated to manage any cross contamination issues with optional barren washing between samples also available and recommended for highly mineralised samples.

Notification of highly mineralised or hazardous samples is required to reduce contamination and ensure safe and correct handling.

To ensure the correct preparation protocols are selected we suggest contacting MinAnalytical to discuss your requirements.

Sample Preparation Packages

Standard preparation packages are available to suit most sample types.

Soil, Stream Sediment, RC, RAB

(Samples that require no further crushing)
Description Code
<300g – Sort, dry, pulverise SP300
<1kg – Sort, dry, pulverise SP1000
<3kg – Sort, dry, pulverise SP3000
<3kg – Sort, dry, pulverise, re-pulverise sub-sample SP3200
<6kg – Sort, dry, riffle split, pulverise <3kg, discard excess portion SP6000D
<6kg – Sort, dry, riffle split, pulverise <3kg, retain excess portion SP6000R

Rock, Drill Core

(Samples that require crushing)
Description Code
<1kg – Sort, dry, crush ~10mm, pulverise SP310
<1kg – Sort, dry, crush ~10mm, pulverise SP1010
<3kg – Sort, dry, crush ~10mm, pulverise SP3010
<3kg – Sort, dry, crush ~10mm, pulverise, re-pulverise sub-sample SP3210
<6kg – Sort, dry, crush -2mm, rotary split pulverise <3kg, retain excess portion SP6002R

Robotic Sample Prep for Fe-Ore

(Herzog automated sample preparation)
Description Code
<1kg – Sort, dry, crush, pulverise (retain bulk pulp) RP1000R
<1kg – Sort, dry, crush, pulverise (discard bulk pulp) RP1000D
<3kg – Sort, dry, crush, pulverise (retain bulk pulp) RP3000R
<3kg – Sort, dry, crush, pulverise (discard bulk pulp) RP3000D
<6kg – Sort, dry, crush, pulverise (retain bulk pulp) RP6000R
<6kg – Sort, dry, crush, pulverise (discard bulk pulp) RP6000D
<9kg – Sort, dry, crush, pulverise (retain bulk pulp) RP9000R
<9kg – Sort, dry, crush, pulverise (discard bulk pulp) RP9000D

Individual Sample Preparation


All samples are sorted and dried upon arrival to ensure they are free of moisture prior to pulverising. Low temperature drying is available for volatile speciation analysis. Samples packaged in plastic bags will incur extra sorting and drying charges.

Description Code
Sorting and drying of samples (packaged in calico or paper packets) DRY01
Sorting and drying of samples (packaged in plastic) DRY02
Low temperature 45ºC drying DRY03


Samples that are too coarse to fit directly into a pulverising vessel will require coarse crushing to nominal 10mm. Samples that require sub splitting prior to grinding will be crushed to nominal 2mm.

Description Code
Crush 10mm CR01
Crush 2mm CR02


Samples >3kg will require sub splitting to a size that can be effectively pulverised in our mills. Representative sample volume reduction can be achieved by either riffle splitting for free flowing material or rotary splitting for pre-crushed (2mm) product.

Description Code
<6kg – Riffle split discard excess portion RF01
<6kg – Riffle split retain excess portion RF02
>6kg - Riffle split multiple times (Discard excess) RF03
>6kg - Riffle split multiple times (Retain excess) RF04
Rotary split RSD01


All samples are pulverised utilising 300g, 1000g, 2000g and 3000g grinding vessels determined by the size of the sample. Dry crushed or fine samples are pulverised to produce a homogenous representative sub-sample for analysis. A grind quality target of 85% passing 75µm has been established and is relative to sample size, type and hardness. However the nature (hardness) of some samples is such that this may not always be achievable using standard preparation protocols.

In this case we recommend an additional 2nd stage grinding where a sub split is taken and further ground to ensure the assay pulp passes QC. In extreme cases 85% passing 75 micron may not be achievable and thus cannot be guaranteed for all samples.

MinAnalytical utilises low chrome steel bowls for pulverising which could impart trace levels of contaminates such as Cr,Fe and Mo.

Description Code
<300g PUL300
<1kg PUL1000
<3kg PUL3000
>1kg <3kg pulverise total sample, re-pulverise sub-sample PUL3200
Barren wash discard BW01
Barren wash retain BW02

Hazardous Samples

Hazardous samples require specialised handling procedures and additional charges are incurred. Samples containing Fibrous/Asbestiform or Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material will be set aside for separate preparation and analysis under controlled conditions. Please ensure that the laboratory has been notified and the hazard is clearly identified on your sample submission and sample packaging. MinAnalytical consider the safety of their staff paramount and your assistance with clearly identifying hazardous samples or possible risks is greatly appreciated.

Description Code
Fibrous or asbestiform samples received as pulps HAZ01
Fibrous or asbestiform samples requiring sample preparation HAZ02
Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) samples received as pulps HAZ03
Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) samples requiring sample preparation HAZ04


Various sieving options can be accommodated including size distribution reporting and sample preparation grind quality checks for a variety of fractions and screen sizes. Please contact the laboratory to discuss your requirements.

Description Code
Dry sieving SVD01
Wet sieving SVW01
Sample preparation grind quality checks SVQ01
Partial sieving SVP01

Core Cutting

A range of core cutting options are available. Please consult with the laboratory regarding your requirements.

Description Code
Core cutting CC01

Miscellaneous Items

Miscellaneous Procedures

Description Code
Quarantine treatment – Small samples or pulps <300g QT300
Quarantine treatment – Bulk samples >300g <3kg QT3000
Specialised preparation or procedure - technician SP01
Specialised preparation or procedure - chemist SP02
Compositing according to requirements CMP01
Mat mixing – pulp only <300g MM01
Dry and homogenise stored pulp samples using pulveriser HOM300
Dry and homogenise composite samples up to 3kg using pulveriser HOM3000
Recording and reporting of weights WT01

Sample Storage

On completion of analysis all solid samples will be stored for 60 days without charge. Thereafter daily storage fees will apply until written advice has been received to return or discard at cost.

All samples submitted as solutions will be disposed immediately upon completion of the analysis.

Description Code
Storage of pulps SS01
Storage of bulk residues SS02
Sample retrieval SS03
Return of samples SS04
Disposal of samples SS05


Please note any associated costs incurred for freight, customs or quarantine inspection fees will be passed on at cost.

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