Trace Inorganic Geochemistry Research Laboratory

Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Expertise and method development in inorganic geochemistry applied to tracing crustal and environmental processes

Area(s) of Expertise

The facility specializes in the fields of lithogeochemistry and environmental geochemistry. Researchers undertake method development and novel applications of micro-scale in situ trace element analysis and 2D elemental mapping of minerals and their inclusions. This information can be used to determine ore-forming processes, define geochemical vectors to mineralization, and fingerprint fertile ore environments through indicator and alteration mineral analysis.

The facility is also involved in high-precision, non-traditional (metal) stable isotope ratio analysis of earth materials to aid in tracing element movement through environmental reservoirs and fingerprinting ore-forming processes.

There is also a focus on enhancing capabilities in field-based elemental, thermodynamic and speciation analysis and non-routine, low-concentration elemental analyses. These include analysis of small sample volumes such as sediment pore waters, ultra-trace element concentration measurements, custom partial leaches, analysis of difficult matrices such as tree rings and mine wastes.

Research Services

Specialized analysis and method development.

Collaborative projects are treated on a case-by-case basis and selected through a proposal system. Projects must be aligned with, and contribute to, advancing laboratory strategic goals. They must also be closely aligned with the current Geological Survey of Canada program. Collaborative projects are undertaken on a cost-recovery basis.

Sectors of Application
  • Energy (renewable and fossil)
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Mining, minerals and metals

Specialized lab

Equipment

Function

ICP-MS facility

Agilent 7700x Quadrupole Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (Q-ICP-MS) with Analyte G2 Excimer Laser Ablation System

Laser Ablation ICP Mass Spectrometry

for in situ trace element analysis and 2D elemental mapping of minerals

 

Thermo Scientific Neptune Plus Multi-Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) with Analyte G1 Excimer Laser Ablation System

MC-ICP-MS for non-traditional isotope analysis of solutions or solids (via laser ablation)

 

Thermo Scientific ELEMENT XR Sector Field Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (SF-ICP-MS)

Elemental analysis of solutions and solids via laser ablation requiring ultra-low detection limits or high resolution

 

Thermo Scientific X Series II Quadrupole Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (Q-ICP-MS)

Determination of trace and major element concentrations in solution matrices

 

Spectro ARCOS Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES)

Determination of trace and major element concentrations in solution matrices

Sample preparation facility

Fully automated ColdBlock 3x CB6 systems (2)

Specialized wet chemistry/digestions

 

Class 100 clean lab with Class 10 hood

Specialized wet chemistry/digestions

Ion chromatography facility

ESI Scientific prepFAST-MC

Fully automated, low pressure chromatography system, Inline dilutions

 

Dionex ICS-2100

Ion chromatography system

XRF facility

Bruker Tracer IV-Geo portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) instruments (4)

Elemental concentration analyses of solids and liquids in lab and field situations using XRF techniques

 

Innov-X DP4000 portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) instruments (3)

Elemental concentration analyses of solids and liquids in lab and field situations using XRF techniques

 

Bruker S2 PICOFOX Total X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) instrument

Elemental concentration analyses of solids and liquids in lab and field situations using XRF techniques