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Type: Journal article
Title: Trace element analysis of minerals in magmatic-hydrothermal ores by laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry: approaches and opportunities
Author: Cook, N.
Ciobanu, C.
George, L.
Zhu, Z.
Wade, B.
Ehrig, K.
Citation: Minerals, 2016; 6(4):111-1-111-34
Publisher: MDPI AG
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 2075-163X
Statement of
Nigel Cook, Cristiana L. Ciobanu, Luke George, Zhi-Yong Zhu, Benjamin Wade and Kathy Ehrig
Abstract: Laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) has rapidly established itself as the method of choice for generation of multi-element datasets for specific minerals, with broad applications in Earth science. Variation in absolute concentrations of different trace elements within common, widely distributed phases, such as pyrite, iron-oxides (magnetite and hematite), and key accessory minerals, such as apatite and titanite, can be particularly valuable for understanding processes of ore formation, and when trace element distributions vary systematically within a mineral system, for a vector approach in mineral exploration. LA-ICP-MS trace element data can assist in element deportment and geometallurgical studies, providing proof of which minerals host key elements of economic relevance, or elements that are deleterious to various metallurgical processes. This contribution reviews recent advances in LA-ICP-MS methodology, reference standards, the application of the method to new mineral matrices, outstanding analytical uncertainties that impact on the quality and usefulness of trace element data, and future applications of the technique. We illustrate how data interpretation is highly dependent on an adequate understanding of prevailing mineral textures, geological history, and in some cases, crystal structure.
Keywords: laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry; trace element data; ore genesis; sulphide minerals
Rights: © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (
DOI: 10.3390/min6040111
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