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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Platinum Group Metals: Latest News: March 23rd 2005


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:: New PGM Reference Materials from Mintek

Four new certified reference materials in the SARM (South African Reference Materials) series are available from Mintek. The materials, which were prepared in response to the large number of platinum-group metals projects currently in the exploration and development stages, comprise

  • SARM 70 UG2, low-grade
  • SARM 71 UG2, medium-grade
  • SARM 72 UG2, high-grade
  • SARM 73 Merensky Reef

The materials are intended for use as controls in the analysis of samples of a similar type, for verification of analytical methods for UG2 and Merensky ores, and for calibrating analytical equipment. The use of reference materials is important in the drive towards quality accreditation, and also in checking that the analytical results from different laboratories compare well.

Each SARM was prepared from between 500 kg and 600 kg of raw material by crushing, milling and fine grinding. The dried material was then thoroughly blended and split, and several randomly-selected samples from each batch were checked for homogeneity. Samples of each material were analysed at 14 accredited laboratories in Australia, Canada, the USA, South Africa and Zimbabwe, using a variety of techniques and the results used to assign values for the precious metals, base metals and sulphur.

SARMs 70 to 73 are available in 2.5 kg units of powdered material. Each material is issued with a certificate that sets out the assignment of certified values and their confidence limits. Details of the preparation and analysis of the material, a list of the collaborating laboratories, a statistical analysis of the analytical data, and instructions on the use of the material are also mentioned.

The complete SARM series includes more than 70 diverse metallurgical and geological materials, including ores of precious and ferrous metals, ferro-alloys, industrial minerals, coal, heavy minerals and products, and rock and sediment samples.




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