This laboratory is used for analysis of whole rock samples for Au, and also As, Bi, Hg, Sb, Se and Te. The aim of the lab is to analyse Au and other elements commonly associated with gold deposits using methods with the lowest possible limits of detection.

The ultra-low detection limit method for analysing gold concentrations in rock samples involves HNO3-HF-HCl-Aqua Regia sample digest followed by chromatographic separation of the gold from the acidic matrix using resin primed with di-iso butyl ketone. Analysis is carried out on the Thermo XSeries 2 ICP-MS at ITM, SU. Detection limits are < 10 ppt. The method used is described in:
Pitcairn, I.K, Warwick, P.E., Milton, J.A., Teagle, D.A.H. (2006) A method for ultra-low level analysis of gold in rocks: Analytical Chemistry, v. 78 (4), p. 1280–1285

tube analysis

As, Bi, Hg, Sb, Se and Te analysis is carried out on our PS Analytical Millenium Excalibur hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectrometer and Millenium Merlin cold-vapour atomic fluorescence spectrometer. Acid digested rock and soil samples and water samples can be analyzed by these instruments. The instrumental detection limits are less than 50 ppt for the above elements.

Aqueous two-phase fluid inclusions hosted by sphalerite and calcite.
Aqueous two-phase fluid inclusions hosted by sphalerite and calcite.


Microthermometry is carried out using a Linkam THM 600 stage mounted on a Nikon microscope utilizing a 40X long working-distance objective.

Raman Spectroscopy is carried out using a laser Raman confocal spectrometer, Horiba instrument LabRAM HR 800, equipped with a multichannel air cooled CCD detector.

LA-ICPMS Lab (click for more information)
The analysis of fluid inclusions by La-ICP-MS and of trace element concentrations in sulfide minerals can be carried out in this lab.


For further information please contact:
Iain Pitcairn
| +46 (0)8 674 78 38