Geochemical Analysis

AGAT Laboratories offers a variety of geochemical approaches and packages that can be customized based on your project requirements. These analyses are initiated with a digestion or decomposition technique and then conducted and completed using state-of-the-art instrumentation for the most accurate results possible. 

Our multi-elemental geochemical packages and specialty analysis include:

Sample Decomposition

In order to prepare solid samples for instrumental analysis, AGAT Laboratories offers a number of techniques including:

  • Acid Digestion to solubilise target elements.
  • Fusions for more vigorous means of decomposition to completely break-down samples and difficult-to-dissolve minerals into a molten flux.
  • Selective Leaches for dissolving specific trace elements.

Advanced Technology

AGAT Laboratories uses leading-edge instrumentation to report the highest number of elements at the lowest detection limits in the industry. Once these elements of interest have been solubilised, they may be analyzed using Mass Spectroscopy, Emission Spectroscopy or Atomic Absorption.

Inductively Coupled Plasma and Flame Atomic Absorption instrumentation are fully automated to provide timely and cost-effective choices in multi-elemental trace analysis. We also offer cold vapour atomic absorption for mercury (Hg) analysis, and classical wet techniques for high precision mineralization assays.

AGAT Laboratories also offers Acid-Base Accounting (ABA) and kinetic cell testing on all sample types, including rock overburden. These tests provide important information on the potential of sites to produce or consume acid. As a result, these tests are extremely important when making decisions for mine sites and their design.

X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy Department

AGAT Laboratories utilizes the latest technological innovations and instrumentation including X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Spectrometer. XRF is the industry standard in many areas of analysis, including iron ore, and is the preferred instrument for many elements. AGAT Laboratories uses the PANaltyical Axios mAX XRF analytical instrumentation. PANalytical is the world’s leading supplier of XRF instrumentation with over 50 years of experience. AGAT Laboratories offers XRF analytical solutions on a wide variety of sample matrices including whole rock, nickel laterite, iron ore and rare earth element analysis.

Specialty Geochemistry

Rare Earth Elements and Lanthanide Analysis

This package is ideal for the increasing interest in lanthanide analysis. Rare earth elements are determined using ICP mass spectrometry with the choice of three dissolution techniques based on your requirements. We can use either a four-acid “near-total” digestion, aqua regia or a lithium borate fusion for a more aggressive approach. The same lithium borate fusion can also be used for the whole rock analysis using ICP finish. Along with these packages, we also offer a Chondrite Plot that is provided with lithium borate packages.

Leach Technology

AGAT Laboratories offers a wide range of selective and sequential leaches so that you can select the analysis that is most applicable to your geological field sampling environment. We offer non-proprietary methods that include, but are not limited to, cold and hot hydroxylamine hydrochloride, sodium pyrophosphate, sodium acetate and EDTA leaches. By focusing on powerful technology, AGAT Laboratories offers unparalled detection limits and results free of common interferences. This can be crucial when requiring Cu and Cr in sodium pyrophosphate leaches or As and Se in hydroxylamine hydrochloride digestions. Additionally, AGAT Laboratories is proud to offer access to the powerful XANES technology to fully explore and identify speciation in specific samples.


Water geochemistry can be a significant tool in mineral exploration. When water interacts with rocks containing valuable ore deposits, minerals dissolve in the water, reflecting the chemical composition of the rock. Groundwater that comes into contact with mineral deposits will reveal chemically distinct water zones around ore deposits. The following groundwater analysis are conducted using ICP-MS and detection limits are based on “clean” samples. Samples submitted for hydrogeochemistry that are high in total dissolved solids will be diluted prior to analysis and results reported will reflect this dilution.

LECO Analysis

Carbon and sulfur analysis can easily be added to the lithogeochemical analysis. We operate leading-edge LECO instrumentation which combines combustion and infrared technology to deliver high precision results.

Acid-Base Accounting

AGAT Laboratories also offers Acid-Base Accounting (ABA) and kinetic cell testing on all sample types, including rock overburden. These tests provide important information on the potential of sites to produce or consume acid and provide important information when making decisions for mine sites and their design.

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