Great expense goes into collecting exploration samples, regardless of whether they are surface samples in early stage exploration (eg. soils, stream sediments, rock chips, waters or plants) or drilling samples. With this in mind, explorers need to ensure collection of the most appropriate samples following valid field procedures to give the best chance of success.
Then, a huge number of options exist for selecting a laboratory, sample preparation and digest process, analysis suite, instrumental technique and detection limit. Unfortunately, it’s rarely a simple task, and getting it wrong can render expensive data useless.
Although typically representing a lower overall cost relative to sample collection, geochemical analysis provides the quantitative numerical data that unlocks the value in samples. Good, thorough geochemistry can help to assess a project and make important decisions. Engaging an exploration geochemist early in an exploration project can save money and time, and get the most value from expensive samples. Getting this right can potentially provide the leverage required to enable lower sampling densities for important decision making.
Use Geochimica to design an orientation study, advise on sampling densities, optimise what you collect in the field, and select laboratory products capable of meeting your current and future exploration requirements.
Laboratories can certainly help to guide the selection of geochemical analysis products. They usually know their products well, and have qualified and experienced analysts on staff to provide analysis advice. However, labs can sell you things that you don’t really need, and are unlikely to use. A lab-based geochemical analyst or sales representative often lacks the exploration knowledge and experience regarding how the data is actually used. Exploration value comes from interpreting data, not just generating numbers. An experienced exploration geochemist, rather than a laboratory analyst or exploration geologist is your best option for getting it right.