Sample handling and preparation


The facility handles a wide range of samples, including but not limited to:

  • contaminated land samples
  • agricultural soils
  • vegetation and crops
  • rocks, minerals and sediments

We use bespoke equipment depending on the sample matrix and subsequent analytical method, whether trace element or organic chemistry, mineralogy and petrology.

We have capability to handle low volume samples through to high throughput survey scale jobs, preparation of bulk materials and reference materials for proficiency testing and certification. Although its methods are not specifically accredited, the sample preparation laboratories are managed following our Quality System, which is accredited by UKAS to ISO 17025.

The facility uses a clean preparation environment to minimise sample cross contamination and can handle contaminated and ore-grade samples away from areas used for trace-level sample preparation.

The majority of sample material is milled using agate media to minimise metal contamination of sample matrices. Other types of mill (e.g. Cr-steel mixer mill) are used when large volumes of sample are required and the potential for contamination is less significant.


Please contact Michael Watts, Charles Gowing or Simon Chenery for further information.