Sample Preparation

Sample Preparation

Our Facility

Paragon’s Sparks geochemical laboratory has a fully equipped sample preparation facility which can accommodate a wide range of sample preparation protocols.

Our large-volume drying ovens allow for rapid drying while also including lower temperature zones where analysis will include volatiles.

We operate multiple high-capacity jaw crushers with options for stage crushing where required. All dust generating comminution equipment including crushers and pulverizes are mounted within a plenum to contain the dispersed particles and direct them to the extractor, to ensure a safe, comfortable working environment.

Auxiliary equipment such as sieve stacks, shakers and splitters are also available. Sample preparation processes include frequent quality checks to ensure materials sent on for analysis meet our requirements for fineness.

Sample Preparation - Analysis

Our Process

Paragon will prepare and analyze geologic samples to quantify precious, base, and trace metal contents. The clock starts ticking when new samples arrive at our door. Lab will handle all aspects of sample preparation using best practices and offer dry storage for pulps and rejects.

Inventory: Samples are reconciled to client-provided sample lists during the inventory process. Any discrepancies are noted, and the client contacted.

Drying: Samples will be dried at 110C in our high-capacity dryer. State of the art improvements to our dryer has cut typical drying times in half which also reduces fuel consumption.

Crushing: Core samples will be two-stage crushed to nominal 2mm particle size. RC chips samples will be single-stage crushed to nominal 2mm particle.

Splitting: Each crushed sample will be riffle split to create a representative analytical split. Custom splitter provides more accurate analytical aliquots. The remainder of the crushed material will be re-bagged for return to the client.

Pulverize Split into Pulp Material: Analytical splits are pulverized by either of two ways: ring mill or Bico plate pulverizers. Pulps are typically pulverized to greater than 85% -75 microns (200 mesh). Experience shows that plate pulverizers offer superior grind for coarse gold samples.

Pre-Operation Checks

Wash rock and wash sand: Wash rock is purchased from Martin Marietta Spanish Springs Quarry in Sparks, NV. Rock material is mortar and pestle to -75 microns and analyzed by 50AR-MS for ultra-trace elements. Wash silica sand is 30 mesh construction sand sourced from Home Depot and is analyzed with the same method as the wash rock.

Equipment: Sample crushers and grinders (pulverizers) have their wear surfaces checked for gold contamination. This is performed using barren rock that is passed through the crushers and pulverized by mortar and pestle, then analyzed for metals down to ultra-trace levels. Wash sand is pulverized by each bowl set from the ring mills as well as each plate pulverizer, then pulp materials are analyzed by the same method as the crushers.

Processing Checks

Pre-sample processing washes: At the beginning of each sample job that requires preparation, either two or three wash rock blanks are crushed and pulverized. These samples will be analyzed for gold if any of the first three client samples contain greater than 0.500 ppm gold. If the pre-job blanks analyze higher than 1 ppm gold, the client is notified that their samples may be contaminated by up to 1% of the blanks’ gold value.

Prep duplicates: A prep duplicate is run at random for every 37 samples. These dupes are a second pulp split from a single client sample that are pulverized for analysis. Results are compared to one-another with a precision tolerance generally 20% of each pair’s mean. Low concentration samples can experience greater precision deviations.

Mesh tests: Every 40 samples will be checked for mesh (particle) size on the pre-split crushed sample as well as the pulverized (pulp) material.

Sample Storage & Pick Up

Our lab will store all client samples for an unlimited amount of time for a monthly fee. We have a safe and secure storage location that is properly managed and well-organized.


Dependable Quality. Rapid Turnaround. Unmatched Value.

Paragon’s core conviction is that to provide value, results of unquestionable quality must be reported rapidly for informed decision making. Our service offerings include a wide range of analytical techniques to suit the needs of the mining industry.