The petrology mineralogy laboratory provides ongoing support services and research facilities to our internal clients (SGS geoscientists, principal investigators of technical projects), and external clients (other government institutions, private sector and community services) in various fields of sample preparation and their investigation by conducting petrology, mineralogy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction analyses (XRD). The Petrology Mineralogy Lab support services and research facilities are maintained under three separate technical units that complies international standard and operates efficiently with qualified technicians and highly trained staffs.

 

Sample preparation unit:

the unit has in-house facilities to provide services in preparation of rocks, minerals, and ores in thin sections, thin polished sections, stained thin sections, stained slabs, polished mounts and polished slabs by using sawing machines, grinding machines, thin sectioning Logitech machines and polishing machines. In addition, the unit also produces slabs cuts in aesthetic designs by using water-jet machine.

 

Rock Cutting Workshop

 

Logitech and Other Machines

 

Polishing Equipments

 

Water-Jet Cutting Machine

 

Microscopy unit:

conducts (a) Transmitted light microscopy, (b) Reflected light microscopy and (c) Scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Transmitted light microscopy furnishes information about the texture of a rock, its constituent minerals, their crystal arrangement and the relationship of one mineral to another, together all this provide information about what the rock is composed of, how it is formed and what happened to it since its formation i.e. it also accounts deformation, alteration etc.  Reflected light microscopy provides information about the presence of opaque minerals, their texture, grain size, and its association with other metallic and gangue minerals in the host rock, thereby identifying specific type of mineralization, determining sequence of mineral deposition and establishing its paragenesis. The Leitz Orthoplan and Leica DMRX research microscopes are used for transmitted and reflected light microscopy. Preparation of technical reports on the petrographic aspects and mineralogical make-up including photomicrographs of the samples are also carried out for the clients.

 

Leitz Orthoplan and Leica DMRX Research Microscope attached with Digital Camera

 

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) at Petrology Mineralogy Lab is a state-of-art facility for nondestructive micro-chemical analysis of solids determining the abundance of specific elements thereby providing elemental composition of wide variety of material including rocks, minerals, ores, metals, alloys, ceramics etc. It is capable of measuring qualitatively and semi-quantitatively the abundance of elements from atomic number 4 (Be: beryllium) to 92 (U: uranium) using energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and wavelength dispersive spectroscopy (WDS) for quick and accurate analyses. It can generate: (1) high-resolution electron images using both secondary electrons (SE) and backscattered electrons (BSE). It provides information about topography, morphology, micro-textural features, and (2) it conducts micro-chemical spot analysis, (3) acquires element map, providing information about elements distribution and their concentrations in two dimensions, and (4) acquires line scan for elements distribution and their concentration in single dimensions along the line.  EDS spectrum is portrayed as a plot of X-ray counts vs. energy (in keV), where energy peaks correspond to the various elements in the sample.

 

Tescan VEGA 3 XMUX SEM Machine

 

XRD analytical unit :

provides versatile research facilities for precise determination of different mineral types. The X-ray diffraction topography uses the Bragg diffraction principles where 2-theta and d-spacing are correlated. Comprehensive X-ray diffraction analysis technique and results with interpretation are provided to the clients. All X-Ray analysis is conducted using Bruker’s AXS D-8 Advance X-ray Diffractometer operated at 40 mA and 40 kV, employing a 0.027 step size and 0.75 seconds counting time. Two-theta starts at 5 and end at 75 with rotation speed 30 rpm and scan mode continuous for regular samples.

 

Bruker’s D8 X-ray Diffractometer

 

Quality control: the ISO-17025 standard is applied for assurance and quality control.