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Weighing Fire Assay Aliquots

Pre-Operations Checks

Equipment: aliquot scales are serviced and tested for performance every 12 months by an ISO certified professional.  At the beginning of each workday, scales are checked for level using the built-in level-indicator bubble, then weighing and calibrating to certified weights of 0.5, 1, 10, 20 and 50 grams.

Processing Checks  

Sample pulps are weighed into racks of 42 with the aid of computer tracking.  Client sample weights are captured and saved if weights fall within 2 grams of the fire assay method weight.  Weighing progress is indicated by a computer monitor that reports the samples already weighed, the sample being weighed, and the remaining samples to complete the rack.  In addition, the weighing process has several quality checks through bar code scanning that ensure that the correct sample is being weighed, and that the weighed aliquot is physically placed in the proper location of the rack.   Weighing also entails adding copper to computer-chosen aliquots in order to verify sample sequences through the fire assay process.  Aliquots requiring copper are indicated on the computer monitor that also shows the captured weight of the copper.   Three coppers will be added to each group of seven weighed aliquots.

Certified and Internal Reference Materials

One certified reference standard (CRM) and one internal reference standard (IRM) is analyzed for each rack of 42 positions.  CRMs are weighed at the client-mandated weight; IRMs are weighed at varying weights, providing a spectrum of gold concentrations, from near baseline to the upper limit of reporting. Each rack also has a duplicate sample and a blank, resulting in 38 client samples per rack of 42.

Paragon Geochemical is located in Sparks, Nevada and is a mid-size provider of commercial assay lab services to the mining and exploration industries. Paragon is committed to providing assay services that meet all industry and regulatory standards of best practice while consistently beating industry expectations for turnaround time and customer service.