Analytical Services

Mintek’s Analytical Services Division (ASD) is a well-established inorganic analytical chemistry laboratory that specialises in geochemical and metallurgical analyses. We provide this specialised analytical service to the mineral, metallurgical and related industries, using state-of-the-art instrumentation for a variety of techniques.


SANAS Accreditation

ASD has been accredited with ISO 17025 (for Testing Laboratories) since 1995. Regular internal and external audits are held to monitor the effectiveness of the Quality Management System (QMS) and to maintain and improve the QMS. The laboratory participates in local and international proficiency testing programs.

The Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) tracks the status of samples from reception through every stage of the analytical process. Instruments are interfaced to the system to ensure accurate data transfer and archiving of results for quick retrieval. Quality controls and limits are incorporated to highlight results that need investigating.

ASD’s scope of accreditation includes:

  • ICP-OES: Ferrochromium slags and chromite ores: Procedure for the dissolution of ferrochromium slags and chromite ores and analysis by ICP-OES (ASD-MET-OES-SP005);
  •  Fire Assay/ PGE Methods:
      • The determination of Individual PGM’s (Pt, Pd Rh,Ru, Ir, Au i.e. 6E) after Nickel sulphide collection by Fire Assay and measurement by ICP-OES. (ASD-MET-SPT-006); and,
      • The determination of Pt, Pd, and Au (3E) by ICPOES after lead collection by Fire Assay.(ASD-MET-SPT-007); and,
      • The determination of Pt, Pd, Rh and Au (4E) after lead collection by Fire Assay followed by high pressure sealed tube dissolution and measurement by ICP-OES.(ASD-MET-SPT-008).
      • The collection and determination of gold and the total PGM +Au using Lead as the collector (ASD-MET-FA002);
  • AAS: Geological materials: The preparation and analysis of solid samples (Geological materials) for the determination of sodium and potassium by atomic absorption spectrophotometry(ASD-MET-AAS-SP001);
  • Classical Chemistry:
    • Various materials: The determination of sulphur using a LECO technique (ASD-MET C16/26); and,
    • Various materials: The determination of carbon using a combustion technique(ASD-MET-C06/37).
  • XRF methods:
  • ASD-MET-XRF004 (Iron Ore) XRF 12_H_GR
  • ASD- XRF002 (U3O8 fused MET- bead) XRF15 and XRF16
  • ASD-MET-XRF019 (U3O8 pressed pellet) XRF19

Trained and experienced staff

  • ASD offers experiential training to University of Technology students;
  • The minimum educational requirement for Laboratory Analysts is Matric with Mathematics and Science and a National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry or B.Sc. for Technicians;
  • Training of Quality Representatives from all ASD’s sections on Internal Auditing techniques, based on ISO 17025 is offered; and,
  • Training of staff on the handling of hazardous substances, e.g. Lead.

Latest technology instrumentation and equipment

ASD’s laboratories are equipped with the latest model of instrumentation techniques to be market relevant and to continuously be in the forefront of dynamic analytical requirements.

Control Charts (Statistical quality control charts)

These are simple but powerful tools for monitoring the stability of an analytical procedure. Here a standard material is measured regularly and the analytical responses are plotted in time order on chart. If the chart displays other than random variation around the expected result it suggests that something has gone wrong with the measurement process. To help decide if this has happened, control limits are plotted on the chart and the responses are expected to remain inside the limits. Rules are decided upon which will define non-random behaviour.

Participation in Round Robin and Proficiency Testing

Whether you are meeting your accreditation requirements or working to improve your performance, participation in proficiency testing is a valuable continuous improvement tool. It helps you gain insight into your measurement processes which translates into improved performance and enhanced measurement quality. By definition it is a means of evaluating a laboratory’s performance under controlled conditions relative to a given set of criteria through analysis of unknown samples provided by an external source. ASD is involved in various proficiency testing and Round Robin schemes with its different methods of analysis, both accredited and non-accredited. Schemes include Qotho Analytical Services; KIO Iron Ore; Geostats; AMIS; Ore Research and exploration PTY LTD and SABS Waters