Mineral Solutions /


Mineral Preparation - Mineralogical Analysis - Chemical Analysis
Materials Testing - Biological Characterisation

We can provide the most appropriate chemical and mineralogical analytical procedures that enable you to solve your problems. We use a combination of accredited commercial laboratories and specialist university facilities to ensure that our clients have the most cost-effective and dependable service.

Mineral Solutions assists in the definition of the problem, and we interpret the results of investigative work to meet client needs. We manage projects that involve university labs so that our clients deal directly with us as a business that speaks the same language and is conscious of time, cost and practicality in contracts.

To meet the needs of our clients, we offer the following technical services (and we can locate more through our university and commercial networks). See here for full details of available analytical techniques and services.

Mineral Preparation

Meticulous sample preparation plays a key role in determining the outcome and success of subsequent analysis. We have extensive experience in detailed laboratory scale preparation of geological materials, raw materials and products. Our techniques, which include standard thin section preparation for optical analysis, separation of individual mineral fractions, down to clay particles, from bulk samples and cores, are designed to meet client requirements. We also design non-standard preparation techniques, adding value to subsequent analysis, in line with the specific needs of our clients.

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Mineralogical Analysis

Our core strength is our capabilities in mineralogical analysis. Using state-of-the-art techniques and equipment we provide detailed analysis of solids and biological samples. We have expertise in identification of mineral compositions and textures to a sub micron scale.

Our analysis has rapidly identified target minerals, contaminants and textures, with time/cost saving benefits to mineral exploration projects, petroleum engineering and risk assessments.

The analysis of hydrated or biological samples allows imaging of microbial biofilms on mineral surfaces, helping to determine the role of microbes in mediating a range of biogeochemical transformations.

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Chemical Analysis

We provide detailed chemical analysis on solutes and solids, from naturally occurring materials to industrial processes products and manufactured items. We typically work with geological materials (soils, clays, sediments, rocks and ores), and with industrial raw materials, waste materials and a range of products. Analysis of solids, particularly rocks and soils, can provide a rapid, cost effective means of identifying chemical composition, including contaminant metals, in a large number of samples. Precise analysis of solutions and gases can determine chemical composition and organic constituents of a variety of samples from contaminated land, industrial processes, petroleum products, gasses and process effluents.

In addition to bulk analysis of a wide variety of materials, Mineral Solutions has specific expertise in locating the exact source of contamination (contaminant speciation), and the availability of particular contaminants to leach into the environment. This has particular value when assessing potential impacts of contaminated waste disposal, use of re-cycled materials and risk assessments that need to determine availability of contaminants. We have also designed problem-specific leach tests for individual clients, adding value to due diligence and risk assessments.

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Materials Testing

Determining the basic properties of a material, whether geological, waste or manufactured, enables the most suitable application to be established. Testing of this nature, including density, porosity, hardness, surface area, particle size etc, is often coupled with other techniques as a method of fully characterising materials. Purely by assessing basic material properties we have identified potential new applications and markets for materials previously viewed as waste.

We have especial expertise in assessing the behaviour of materials in soil systems. We undertake plant growth trials using a wide range of composts, mineral wastes and other materials to assess possible disposal routes for wastes, and to assess novel horticultural and agricultural products.

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Biological Characterisation

The contribution of microbial communities to natural/industrial processes can be fundamental in understanding and predicting potential environmental impacts. We have used our knowledge and experience in the identification of microbial communities using molecular biology and culturing techniques to investigate microbial processes in a variety of soils and industrial processes. This has added value in understanding potential contamination processes for due diligence work, and has aided in design of remediation projects and product development e.g. for acid mine drainage treatment. We also undertake experimental design, on a laboratory scale, of microbial techniques to enhance client specified remediation and industrial processes.

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This page was last updated on the 28th October 2005.
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