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Mobile Metal Ions (MMI)

Mobile Metal Ion (MMI) geochemistry is a proven advanced geochemical exploration technique known to find mineral deposits.

It is especially well suited for deeply buried mineral deposits. MMI™ measures metal ions that travel upward from mineralization to unconsolidated surface materials such soil, till, sand and so on. These mobile metal ions are released from mineralized material and travel upward toward the surface. Using careful soil sampling strategies, sophisticated chemical ligands and ultra sensitive instrumentation, SGS is able to measure these ions. After interpretation, MMI data can indicate anomalous areas.

SGS is the sole provider of MMI technology. We have over 15 years of experience providing this technology, and as a result of this long-term commitment, we are the market leaders in ion extraction technology and geochemical exploration.

There are many benefits to using MMI technology for soil geochemistry:

  • Few false anomalies
  • Focused, sharp anomalies
  • Excellent repeatability
  • Definition of metal zones and associations
  • Detection of deeply buried mineralization
  • Low background values (low noise)
  • Low limits of detection

MMI technology is an innovative analytical process that uses a unique approach to the analysis of metals in soils and related materials. Target elements are extracted using weak solutions of organic and inorganic compounds rather than conventional aggressive acid or cyanide-based digests. MMI solutions contain strong ligands, which detach and hold metal ions that were loosely bound to soil particles by weak atomic forces in aqueous solution. This extraction does not dissolve the bound forms of the metal ions. Thus, the metal ions in the MMI solutions are the chemically active or ‘mobile’ component of the sample. Because these mobile, loosely bound complexes are in very low concentrations, measurement is by conventional ICP-MS and the latest evolution of this technology, ICP-MS Dynamic Reaction Cell™ (DRC II™). This allows us to report very low detection limits.

MMI technology uses proprietary extractants. MMI-M is a new, single multi-element leach that now provides an option to measure the concentration of a broad selection of mobile elements. With MMI-M, you can create your own individual multi-element packages, using any or all commodity elements, diamond host rock elements, lithological elements or pathfinder elements. SGS also offers enhanced detection limits with the MMI-ME package.

Partner with SGS and use MMI technology for exploration success and more precise drill hole targeting.


MMI TB 35 Rare Earths and MMI Chondrite Plots LREE HREE Ratios 2020
Summary of SGS MMI Technical Bulletins
SGS Minerals MMI TB 02 Size Fraction Analysis Legal EN 18 1
SGS Minerals MMI TB 06 The Application of MMI Geochemistry in Deeply Weathered Lateritic Environments
SGS Minerals MMI TB 08 The Application of MMI Geochemistry in Carbonate Environments
SGS Minerals MMI TB 17 MMI Geochemistry for Nickel Exploration
SGS Minerals MMI TB 18 Rare Earths and MMI Geochemistry
SGS Minerals MMI TB 21 The Application of MMI M Leach to Mineralized Porphyry Exploration
SGS Minerals MMI TB 22 MMI Sampling in Tropical and Temperate Climate Zones
SGS Minerals MMI TB 23 Processing and Presenting MMI Geochemical Data
SGS Minerals MMI TB 24 Lithogeochemistry and MMI M
SGS Minerals MMI TB 25 Sampling Grids for MMI
SGS Minerals MMI TB 26 Weak vs Strong Leachants
SGS Minerals MMI TB 27 Particle Size and MMI
SGS Minerals MMI TB 28 Application of Weak Leaches in Kimberlite Exploration
SGS Minerals MMI TB 29 Update on Mechanism of Formation of MMI Anomalies and Lithological Expression of Background in Surface Soils
SGS Minerals MMI TB 30 Degree of Geochemical Similarity DOGS between MMI samples using Spearman ranking and correlation
SGS Minerals MMI TB 31 MMI Reference Samples from the GEMAS European Database for DOGS Comparison and Analysis
SGS Minerals MMI TB 32 MMI Analysis of Some Selected North American Soils Over Known Geology
SGS Minerals MMI TB 33 Degree of Geochemical Similarity DOGS Analysis of Some Selected North American Soils Over Known Geology
SGS Minerals MMI TB 36 MMI and Bioavailable Cation Index for Agricultural Soils

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