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A Guide to Portable XRF Geochemistry in Mining

Geochemistry analysis is an incredibly important part of the mining industry. It is relevant to every stage of a mine’s life cycle and needs to be fast and accurate enough to avoid costly delays.

Portable XRF geochemistry analysers are the solution and are making mines more profitable all across Australia. So read on to learn how these incredible devices are applied to mining.

What is XRF?

X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF) is a non-invasive method for measuring the elemental composition of materials.

It uses a spectrometer to detect and measure X-Rays emitted by the atoms of a sample that has been irradiated. Depending on the element, the intensity of the fluorescent radiation it emits will change, allowing it to be identified.

What is Portable XRF Geochemistry?

Portable XRF geochemistry uses the same technology as regular XRF, except it’s calibrated to a specific range of elements. For example, geochemistry is most often applied to mining industries, so these portable XRF devices will be calibrated to detect both the desired elements and also commonly occurring contaminants.

How does Portable XRF Geochemistry Work?

To use portable XRF analysers in the field, a small portion of the sample is placed in the analyser’s sample chamber. The instrument then fires X-Rays at the sample. The device will then measure the resulting energy of the emitted radiation. For the final stage, the analyser then processes this information and compiles a composition report.

This gives the operator insight into several things, including:

  • The composition of the sample
  • The concentration of the elements they are looking for
  • The concentration of undesirable elements
  • The presence of any contaminants

The speed and accuracy of portable XRF geochemistry make testing in the field simple and effective. That’s why it has become one of the most popular and useful analysis methods in the mining industry.

How is Portable XRF Geochemistry Used in Mining?

Portable XRF geochemistry is applicable to all stages of the mining process.


The initial phase of mining is either greenfield or brownfield exploration. XRF is especially useful at this stage because surveyors need to be able to take samples in the field and on the move. Because of its rapid results, samples can be taken over multiple days without costly interruptions waiting for lab results.

Resource Estimation

Once exploration has detected the presence of the desired minerals, the site needs to be assessed. Starting a new mine is an enormous financial undertaking so sites need to be rich enough to be worth the investment.

Using portable XRF geochemistry, testing the composition of samples over a wider area will reveal whether the site is worth pursuing.

Ore Processing

While ore is being mined, it is important to know the composition to determine how best to process it. Portable XRF geochemistry is so fast and accurate that mining companies can react quickly if the composition of the ore demands a different process.

Environmental Compliance

Mining companies must abide by strict environmental compliance legislation, especially regarding pollutants and contaminants.

Portable XRF geochemistry is an effective tool for testing soil and water samples to assess the risk of run-off which could risk breaching the rules.

The Ultimate Portable XRF Geochemistry Device

A Guide to Portable XRF Geochemistry in Mining 2

The Niton XL5 Plus Handheld Analyser is the leading XRF device for the mining industry.

It can detect geochemical data for elements and minerals, as well as identifying pure metals and alloys. For mining specifically, mining mode can be utilised to limit the detection range between Mg and U to target certain geochemical materials.

Aside from its impressive detection abilities, the Niton XL5 Plus has additional features that make it incredibly intuitive to use. These include:

  • Customisable for individual applications
  • Vivid navigation and custom user profiles
  • Micro and Macro cameras
  • Lightweight, ergonomic design
  • Installed customer database

Solve all your mining analysis needs with one device – the Niton XL5 Plus Handheld Analyser!

Portable Analytical Solutions

Portable Analytical Solutions (PAS) is the leading distributor of Niton devices in Australia.

In particular, the Niton XL5 Plus is incredibly popular. As Australia’s mining industry continues to boom, so does demand for the premier portable XRF geochemical analyser.

If you’d like to purchase or rent your own XL5 Plus, PAS has you covered. Simply get in touch today.

Custom Calibrations

PAS also offers custom calibrations for the XL5 Plus. Make analysis even easier with a calibrated detection range that suits your needs. If you already own an XL5 Plus, we can still calibrate it for you. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your custom calibration options.