Enhanced Exploration Services

In conjunction with our Rock Properties Divisions, AGAT Laboratories also offers advanced exploration services for mining and mineral companies including:

QEMSCAN Technology

QEMSCAN® is a fully-automated microanalysis system that provides rapid and reliable mineralogical, petrographic and metallurgical data from any inorganic, and some organic, materials. This state-of-the-art technology is used in the mining sector for mineral exploration, ore characterization, and mineral process optimization applications. It is also utilized by the oil and gas industry to reduce risk and improve extraction, based on data derived from the microanalysis of drill cuttings and cores. Drawing from the back-scattered electron (BSE) signal intensity and an Energy Dispersive Spectra (ED) Signal, mineral identities are assigned to each measurement point by comparing the BSE signal and EDS spectrum against a mineral species database or species identification program.

Coupled with AGAT Laboratories’ current analytical Rock Properties methodology such as X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), and optical microscopy, QEMSCAN® will allow us to perform superior, automated mineral identification. This includes modal mineralogy, grain size analysis and high resolution petrographic analysis of core or cuttings samples. QEMSCAN® will also be used to ensure proper estimation of the proportion of minerals from Rietveld analysis.

High Resolution Core Photography

AGAT Laboratories offers high resolution core photography in colour under both ambient and ultra-violet lighting conditions. Photo images are acquired using a state-of-the-art digital scan camera. Each frame is programmed to have the well name, location, cored interval, core number, recovery, sample numbers, scale and core top and bottom interval indicated.  Photo images can be available as prints, on a Photo CD and are uploaded on our secure FTP site for instant viewing online from any location.

Down-hole Imaging and Depth-Correction Technology

AGAT Laboratories has pioneered the development in down-hole continuous core photography and depth correction. We have developed a technology that combines the ability to correct core photos with field LAS and sample selection. This enhancement provides our clients with the ability to choose their samples, correct their photos and transfer data back to the lab, limiting errors and ultimately decreasing turn-around times for photography. Sample selection is pin-point accurate and sampling errors are thus eliminated from the operation.

Lithological Examination

Lithological examination includes the description of rocks on a basis of such characteristics as colour, mineral content, primary structures, grain/crystal size and other physical properties.  AGAT Laboratories geologists will describe each interval of core (visually and with a microscope) that has different lithological features.

X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) Analysis

XRD analysis provides precise identification of mineralogical composition and is a semi-quantitative analysis of a rock composition (bulk fraction) and an analysis of the clay fraction.

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

SEM microphotography allows for a microscopic, three-dimensional examination of the rock surfaces. This assists in quantifying mineral composition and size along with providing  information regarding textures and porosity and  is valuable when studying clays, shales, sandstones, limestones and placer materials.

Cathodoluminescent Analysis

This study utilizes the ability of minerals to emit unique wavelengths of light under electron bombardment. A thin section of the rock sample is prepared and placed under a microscope within a specialized vacuum chamber.  An electron beam is pointed at the sample and photos are taken under cathodluminescent and plane-polarized lighting.  The colour and intensity of the cathodoluminescence from the sample is used to determine what minerals are present in the sample.

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