See us at AGG1 March 25-27th, Booth 1106


Geochemically Evaluating Your Claim: Mobile Metal Ions

So, you have identified a parcel of land and are heading out to stake your claim. Awesome work prospector! Now, whether your claim is informed by historic production or perhaps you have a hunch on what lies underfoot, you most likely want to investigate what precious metals, base metals, and other minerals you now have the rights to in your placer or lode claim. Perhaps you have already utilized a portable XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) in the field and want to confirm your results. A well-planned sampling program with Mobile Metal Ion (MMI) analysis is a surefire way to identify minerals within your reach.

Sampling your claim across a series of transects oriented in a grid format will give you the best opportunity to find the highest zone of enrichment in the subsurface. A properly spaced, zone-defined sampling program can help confirm field tests. It will also inform exploratory drilling programs. Available parcels of land that may contain potential additional resources would come about. Moreover, a sampling project with a minimum of 50 samples can aid in correlating co-occurring elemental signatures and aid in the development of a statistical model to better understand the type of deposit you have available at depth.

MMI Analysis

MMI analysis can detect the concentrations of elements such as Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Au, Ag, Co, and Pd in soils that have weathered from the deep bedrock of your lode claim or are latently present in your placer claim. After sampling, weak acid digestion is applied to liberate the metallic elements from the soil. It is then diluted in an aqueous solution for geochemical analysis using an Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS).

ICP-MS Technology

ICP-MS technology allows for the analysis of low concentrations of metallic elements such as ppm/ppb. It also provides insight into the type of mineral deposits located in your claim. Published reports of MMI signatures have led to the discovery of mineralized zones up to 50 m (~164 ft) below the surface!

Contact us for more information on how we can assist you in proving your prospect. We have the capabilities to assist you in the use of MMI, as well as in-field XRF. You will be provided with a better understanding of the resources available in your claim.


Mann, A.W., Birrell, R.D., Mann, A.T., Humphreys, D.B., Perdrix, J.L., 1998, Application of the mobile metal ion technique to routine geochemical exploration: Journal of Geochemical Exploration, v. 61, p. 87-102,