Determination of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold in ores and concentrates using iridium and ruthenium as co-collectors by fire assay
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Determination of platinum group metals (PGMs) and gold also known as precious metals is always a very difficult task, this is due to their availability in trace amounts in sample types of complex composition. Little research has been done to improve the accurate analysis of PGMs and gold in a cost effective manner. An area of research that has the potential of improving PGM and gold analysis is the use of co-collectors. The aim of the project was to determine if both Iridium and Ruthenium are useful co-collectors for precious metals e.g Platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold in ores and concentrate material. Varying concentrations of Iridium and Ruthenium collector solutions were each used in the analysis of PGMs and gold and the results obtained indicated that Iridium is a useful co-collector for concentrate material only even at very low concentrations, however iridium is not a useful collector for precious metal in ore material even when high concentration are used. Ruthenium is not a useful collector for precious metals in both concentrate and ore material even when high concentrations are used. Therefore Iridium can be used as a co-collector in the analysis of PGMs and gold in concentrate material only and Ruthenium cannot be used as a co-collector for PGMs and gold in both ore and concentrate material.