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HomeMiningExploration ServicesGeochemistryPrecious MetalsGold by Aqua Regia
Aqua regia is a 3:1 mixture of hydrochloric acid and nitric acid. It is a strong oxidizing mixture that dissolves many base metal sulfide minerals as well as gold and platinum. However, it is a partial leach that leaves an undigested silicate and alumina residue as well as refractory minerals such as garnet and spinel. It is possible to vary the sample size from less than 1g up to 20 to 50g depending on the target elements and their expected concentration. Sub-ppb detection limits are possible and base metal detection limits of low ppb are common.
Aqua regia digestion can result in the partial loss of volatile arsenic and antimony. Insoluble barium and lead sulfates can precipitate when sulfide is oxidized to sulfate. This is common since aqua regia is a strong oxidizing agent.
SGS has an intensive, ongoing program to monitor quality in all our labs. Dozens of our labs carry internationally and industry recognized certifications and/or accreditations. Scopes vary among laboratories.
Partner with SGS today and together we can see if aqua regia extractions are the best digestion technique for your gold assay needs.