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Geochemical Journal
Geochemical Journal An open access journal for geochemistry
Published for geochemistry community from Geochemical Society of Japan.

Application of handheld XRF on Ta-Nb-Sn-W ore: Factory calibration or user calibration?

Alireza Somarin, Li Zhou, Ingo Steinhage
Geochemical Journal, Vol. 55, No. 3, P. 149-158, 2021


Handheld X-ray fluorescence (HHXRF) has many applications in earth and the environmental sciences including Ta-Nb-Sn-W ore exploration, mining and trading. HHXRF provides more accurate results in samples with low concentration of desired elements; concentrated samples such as ore specimens are commonly challenging due to matrix effects and peak overlap. Assay data of such samples can be improved if the elements show good correlation between HHXRF data and values obtained by laboratory analysis of known samples or standards. This research shows that in the Ta-Nb-Sn-W ores, the factory calibration provides acceptable and accurate results up to a certain concentrations: 3% Ta, 10% Nb, 29% Sn, and 4% W. Using one or more user calibrations for samples with higher than these thresholds, improves the HHXRF data significantly.


coltan, columbite, tantalite, user calibration, factory calibration, field-portable XRF, handheld XRF

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