The portable XRF geochemistry project aims to provide a framework for fast, effective geochemical analysis of the South Australian cover and ascertain whether this can give an indication as to what is happening deeper.

Project summary

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a key field technique for mining and environmental applications. It is an analytical technique that returns information about the elemental composition of a sample, such as drill core, powdered rock or a hand specimen. In XRF, an x-ray is beamed at the sample. When the atoms are struck, different energies of x-ray are emitted in response. The spectrum of the emitted x-rays helps to identify which elements are present.

Portable pXRF machine

The dawn of the portable XRF (pXRF) instruments have allowed the GSSA to provide near real-time support for operational field decisions, and are readily used for many of the programs based at the South Australia Drill Core Reference Library.

The pXRF project will increase the wealth of geochemistry data and has already been used in the recent Delamerian National Drilling Initiative (NDI) downhole portable X-ray flurosence study of Murray Basin regolith.

Future reviews of regolith geochemistry and stratigraphy in the Gawler Craton and Fowler/Eucla regions are also planned for this project.