The application of portable Raman spectroscopy (pRaman), portable XRF (pXRF), and micro-XRF (µXRF) proved invaluable during the exploration, delineation and development of the Sinclair Caesium Mine, Western Australia. This article provides an insight into the application of combined spectral technologies in the exploration for, and development of mineral deposits.
An algorithm to estimate the lithium content in soils was developed into a pXRF calibration on a Bruker S1 TITAN. This is a custom calibration created in-house by Portable Spectral Services. Following successful blind field trials this Lithium Index Calibration, developed by Portable Spectral Services, was used in several mineral exploration campaigns resulting in the discovery of an LCT pegmatite in Western Australia.
A Bruker CounterTop XRF (CTX) with a custom matrix-matched Cs calibration was used for grade control sampling to provide a comprehensive and practically immediate geochemical monitoring capacity which was confirmed by fusion XRF data post mining.
For identifying pegmatite mineralogy, a custom spectral library was developed by Portable Spectral Services for use on a Bruker BRAVO Raman and tested on over 10,000 samples. The portable Raman was used to reliably identify key mineralogy during delineation and mine development, including the identification of eucryptite and petalite (key lithium silicates).
Detailed core scans using the Bruker M4 TORNADO µ-XRF provided critical information on element and mineral deportment to advance the understanding of LCT pegmatite systems and their weathering products, providing insights for geometallurgy and future exploration.
The application and integration of field portable spectral systems provides fit-for-purpose, ‘real time’, and inexpensive chemical and mineralogical data that are invaluable during exploration, delineation and development of mineral deposits.