Analytical Testing


Suntech Analytical Services Division (ASD) offers the following services:

1. Sample Preparation

  • Section equipped with drying ovens, primary and secondary crushers, riffle splitters, screens as well as pulverizers.
  • Material going for chemical analysis, acceptable particle size must be at least 80% passing through 75 microns.

2. Fire Assay Technique

  • This technique is used to assay for gold as well as PGMs.
  • Pulverised sample is weighed and mixed with lead-containing assay flux and a collector is added to aid the lead in the collection of the precious metals.
  • Mixture is heated in a furnace (fusion) and the fusion fluid can stand in an iron mold resulting in the formation of a lead button at the bottom of the mold.
  • Lead button is taken through cupellation furnace where the lead melts and is absorbed into a porous cupel leaving behind a tiny “prill containing only the precious metal and the collector.
  • The prill is then taken for either gravimetric determination or instrumental analysis.

3. Gravimetric Analysis

  • This method involves treating a prill to separate the collector from the precious metal and then comparing the precious metal weight to the initial sample weight to determine the concentration.

4. Acid digestion

  • Sample pulp is oxidized in concentrated acid or acid mixture on a hot plate and brought into solution for instrumental analysis.

5. Peroxide Fusion

  • Mixture of pulverized sample and sodium peroxide is fused in a furnace; the melt is dissolved in acid and the resultant solution is sent for titrimetric or instrumental analysis.

6. Titrimetric Analysis

  • The method is based on the reaction between a sample solution and a solution with a known concentration. Volume measurements are taken to determine the end-point of the reaction and calculations done to determine the concentration.

7. Instrumental Analysis

  • Analytical Service Division is equipped with ICP-OES instrument as well as XRF instrument
  1. ICP Analysis – this technique analyzes solution samples and can be used for a wide range of elements. A solution sample is aspirated and atomized in very hot inductively-coupled plasma flame. The excited atoms will emit radiation with wavelength that is characteristic of the elements present.
  2. XRF Analysis – the pulverized sample is mixed with binder wax and pressed into a pellet with a smooth surface. An x-ray source generates high energy x-rays that bombard the sample causing ionization of atoms. The resultant movement of electrons to maintain a stable atomic structure causes the sample to emit radiation that is characteristic of the elements present.

Analytical Services

  • Sample Preparation
  • Fire Assay Technique
  • Gravimetric Analysis
  • Acid Digestion
  • Peroxide Fusion
  • Titrimetric Analysis
  • Instrumental Analysis

Contact For Services

SA Region

+27 (0)11 433 4234

+27 (0)76 102 4182

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