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April 23rd-27th, 2023.  DoubleTree Hotel, Pointe-Claire, Montreal, Quebec.

Canadian Mineral Analysts Conference

Conférence canadienne des analystes de minéraux

Call for Papers

The following is a list of abstracts summited for the CMA show.  

Each technical presentation will last no longer than 20 minutes in the form of a PowerPoint presentation.  The presentation will be made available to the conference delegates after the conference ends in a PDF format.

For more information, please speak to the Technical Program Chair - Andrea McClaren - by email:

Categories:  1)  Sample Preparation, 2) Automation, 3) ISO / Quality Control, 4) Personal Development, 5) New Methods / Innovation, and 6) Critical and Battery Metals.

Sample Prep

Malvern Panalytical
Optimizing sample preparation for elemental monitoring in mining and ore processing with innovative developments in fusion instrument.
The concept of the analytical chain embraces all the steps involved in a sample from its raw state to the production of analytical data. Accurate and precise elemental analysis is possible when implementing a robust and reliable analytical chain, which in turn relies on optimal sample preparation and calibration. Ensuring that all elements of interest fulfill mineral specifications and quality standards is a key factor in developing simpler and less-time consuming sample preparation strategies for XRF analysis.
Our latest research on fusion has shown that a judicious combination of improved mixing methods with a cutting-edge furnace design speed up the sample preparation.
Coupled with the use of WROXI (Wide Range OXIdes) synthetic CRMs—a complete XRF solution optimized for a wide range and accurate calibrations— our new fusion system was found to provide high throughput levels without compromising the quality of analytical results.
This optimized sample preparation is totally integrated in our analytical process solutions which includes sample tracking capabilities, quality monitoring, simplified fusion methods, use of high-quality chemicals, automated weighing, and certified calibration standards.
Presenter: Chantal Audet /
Katanax inc.
Understanding the fusion parameters to obtain the best XRF results

Borate fusion is known to be one of the best sample preparations for analysis with XRF. However, it can be a complex preparation to work with and different parameters have an impact on the analytical results. This presentation will focus on understanding these parameters, before and during the fusion, to help the users achieve a stable method that gives good results.

Presenter: Vincent Hamel /
Co-author: Marc Boivin
Sample Preparation……..Easily Overlooked!

This talk presents a comprehensive approach to sample preparation for a variety of samples, prior to elemental analysis.  The methods involve the use of microwave digestion and auto-dilution techniques to achieve reliable and accurate results. Prior to analysis, samples are reduced using Retsch Jaw crushers, ensuring efficient and consistent sample preparation. Samples can then be subsampled and digested via our Milestone microwave systems.  Once digested, automated dilution provides accurate and precise results for a range of sample matrices, including environmental and geological samples. By utilizing tools such as Teledyne Cetac’s Simprep, you can reduce human error and increase the efficiency of the analysis sequence.

This process provides a reliable and efficient solutions for sample preparation to streamline your analysis process for metals analysis, providing accurate and reliable results.

Presenter: Geoff Williams /
Laboratory Preparation and Analysis of Metallic Samples
Obtaining representative, accurate results from heterogeneous samples poses a challenge for assayers. The “nugget” effect of gold or other metallic particles, as well as the potential for cross-contamination in sample prep equipment or instrumentation, can cause undesirable data variation if not approached with care. This presentation will focus on the methods used for two sample streams containing metallic elements encountered at the New Afton Mine. Application of sampling theory and the techniques taken to improve accuracy and mitigate error in sample preparation and analysis are discussed.
Presenter: Elizabeth Sirianni /
University of Ottawa
A sensitive and rapid method for the determination iodine in soil by microwave digestion followed by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

Iodine is a micronutrient essential for human health. Dietary supplementation, by means of iodised salt, is commonly used to address global prevalence of iodine deficiency (ID) disorders. However, efforts to reduce salt consumption to alleviate other chronic health diseases such as high blood pressure and other heart complications could impair the effectiveness of such preventive measures. On the other hand, biofortification is an alternative strategy to address ID, as iodine stored in food is readily bioavailable. Therefore, it is important to understand the iodine-soil-crop dynamics, which demands the need for efficient and sensitive analytical methods for the determination of iodine in soil. 

Available methods for the determination of iodine in soil are primarily based on reaction catalysis, spectrophotometry, neutron activation analysis, pyrohydrolysis-ICPMS, etc. which are time consuming, labour intensive, prone to interferences, and of poor sensitivity. Based on microwave digestion with Tetra Methyl Ammonium Hydroxide (TMAH), we have developed a rapid extraction method, followed by sensitive measurement with ICPMS following direct dilution of the digestate. Method was validated using certified soil reference material (NIST SRM2709) with a limit of detection 0.016 ppm (16 ppb) in the dry solid.

Presenter: Smita Mohanty
Co-Author: Chandrika Liyanapathirana
Co-Author: Nimal De Silva


ECORE: the art of bringing quantitative automated mineralogy and chemical assays directly on drill cores.
Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is an analytical method that utilizes lasers to produce light emission from samples and analyze their chemical composition using atomic emission spectroscopy. LIBS has been increasingly used in recent years as a powerful tool for bringing microanalysis to macroscale for automated mineralogy. This is due to its several advantages, such as non-destructive sample analysis and ultra-fast data acquisition (1300 measurements per seconds, dwell time of 770 µs). Furthermore, LIBS is compatible with automated mineralogical analysis, making it a suitable method for large-scale and high-throughput mineral analysis in a variety of industries, including mining, metallurgy, and geology directly on the sample without sample preparation.
The LIBS technology allows for the measurement of the chemical composition of minerals in real-time (seconds), providing detailed information about the mineral’s elemental composition and phase identification. This information is critical for mineralogical characterization and analysis, as it provides valuable insights into the mineral’s properties, behavior, and potential applications. In the mining industry, the ECORE LIBS technology is currently the only approach able to discriminate light-elements bearing minerals for critical minerals such as lithium.
This paper reports an ultra-fast and inexpensive automated method of instrumental analysis that will accelerate decision-making in exploration, and its exploitation directly on crushed ore or drill cuttings. Mineral characterization for several commodities including lithium, copper, silver, gold, PGE, REE and more will be presented.
In conclusion, LIBS is a powerful tool that is revolutionizing the field of mineral analysis by bringing microanalysis to macroscale for automated mineralogy. Its ultra-fast, non-destructive, sensitive to light elements, and high-throughput capabilities make it an ideal method for a variety of applications in the mining, metallurgical, geological, and environmental industries.
Presenter: François R. Doucet /
Co-author: Lütfü Çelebi Özcan
Co-author: Kheireddine Rifai
FLSmidth Ltd
Advances in wet chemistry automation technology in the minerals industry
Presenter: Arnoux van der Westhuizen /

ISO / Quality Control

Mitigating Risks with ISO/IEC 17025:2017 Accreditation for mineral testing labs

ISO/IEC 17025:2017 is the international standard for testing and calibration laboratories, and it provides guidelines for the management of laboratory activities. Accreditation to this standard indicates that a laboratory is competent and operates under a well-defined management system, ensuring the reliability and accuracy of its results. Mineral testing labs can benefit from accreditation to this standard in several ways, including mitigating risks associated with their testing activities.

Here are some ways in which accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 can help mineral testing labs mitigate risks:

Ensuring accuracy and reliability of test results: ISO/IEC 17025:2017 requires laboratories to have a quality management system that ensures the accuracy and reliability of test results. This includes ensuring that the test methods used are valid, that equipment is calibrated and maintained, that staff are trained and competent, and that records are maintained.

Reducing the risk of errors and mistakes: Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 requires laboratories to have procedures in place to identify and manage risks associated with their testing activities. This includes identifying potential sources of errors or mistakes and taking steps to reduce or eliminate them.

Improving customer confidence: Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 is a globally recognized symbol of competence and reliability. Customers can be confident that the test results provided by an accredited laboratory are accurate and reliable, which can help to build trust and confidence in the laboratory's services.

Complying with regulatory requirements: Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 can help mineral testing labs demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements. This can be particularly important in industries such as mining, where accurate testing of mineral samples is essential for complying with safety and environmental regulations.

Facilitating international trade: Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 can facilitate international trade by providing a recognized standard for laboratory competence. This can help to remove barriers to trade and reduce the need for additional testing or certification.

In summary, accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 can help mineral testing labs mitigate risks associated with their testing activities by ensuring the accuracy and reliability of test results, reducing the risk of errors and mistakes, improving
Presenter: Kevin McKinley /
Co-author: Ema Gitej
Analytical Innovations
Control Charts for Multianalyte Tests

Control charting is an essential tool for quality management in assay laboratories. Control charting techniques in current use are geared for single analyte tests, when applied to multianalyte tests such as ICP-OES, XRF the Type I inference error increases as the number of analytes increases, resulting in very high numbers of QC failures. Current practice is to chart only a few selected “important” analytes for control charting, resulting in minimal, if any, QC for most analytes tested.

The Euclidian Distance approach for charting multianalyte tests has been shown to have the same Type I inference error regardless of the number of analytes tested. In this presentation the Type II inference error properties of the Euclidian Distance approach is shown. The experimental situation examined is 50 analytes for a control sample on 500 test runs, a total of 25,000 test results. The data matrix was populated with Gaussian distributed random numbers. Bias was added from 0.1 z units to 5.0 z units to selected analytes ranging from all 50 analytes biased to only one analyte biased.

This approach simulates commonly encountered situations such as dilution error, calibration error, contamination, selective analyte extraction errors during sample digestion / dissolution.

Presenter: Edgar F. Paski /
OREAS North America
Why it is important to use high quality CRMs
Presenter: Chantal Jolette /

Personal Development

Gordon Walker
Career & Leadership
Younger people can often have difficulty in visualizing career progression and how best to advance themselves in their organization.  Some see the company structure as rigid and unchanging, but this view is often formed after an unreasonably short time frame.  The reality is that organizations are changing, evolving and normally growing creating opportunities for those willing to rise up and do so earlier in their careers.

People should realize that there are methods to promote themselves by filling vacuums in organizational structures.  Leaders are always looking for such people and often don't find them quickly enough.  Demographics being what they are, there are shortages of people at all levels, opportunity knocks, it's imperative that people answer the door.

In promoting themselves individuals can add value to their organizations, themselves and gain a richer working environment.

Training and ongoing learning are important, not just specific training, but general training about the sector so that the individual has a better understanding of the context in which their company finds itself on the spectrum of the industry.  Doing so makes for a more well rounded employee, one who can communicate more effectively to others in the industry - it also opens doors to business development and more senior management roles.

Once promoted people need to learn the skills of leadership quickly in environments where that's not often taught and/or people lack mentors.  There are a few tricks of the trade that can greatly help new leaders to become better leaders faster and ideally with less stress than could otherwise be the case.

The results of self promotion, ongoing training and being an effective leader will lead to a more enriching and rewarding career, and people who are more valuable to the organizations they work for.
Presenter: Gordon Walker /
McGill University
Women in Green Chemistry and Engineering: Challenges and Opportunities

In this presentation, I will make the case for the need to better include Women and Girls in STEM, especially in domains related to sustainability.1 There are many reasons why women deserve to have access to STEM-related jobs. For instance, how gender inequity leads to economic disparity and explains in part the gender salary gap. On the other hand, I will also make the argument including women in these positions is central to developing better research, because of the blind spot that can emerge from a lack of diversity when addressing sustainability questions. I will finish by presenting some solutions to empower more women in the field. I will also use this time to introduce a couple of vignettes on the research effort of my group, including in waste valorization of biomass with mechanochemistry and our efforts to integrate toxicology in nanodesign.

  1. Cannon, A. S., Carrier, D. J., Engelberth, A. S., Garcia, J. M., Heath, E., Kuok Hii, K., Kerton, F. M., Makhubela, B., Moores, A., Rossi, L. M., Vidal, J. L., Voutchkova-Kostal, A., & Wilson, K. (2022). Women in Green Chemistry and Engineering: Agents of Change Toward the Achievement of a Sustainable Future. ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 10(9), 2859–2862.


Presenter: Audrey Moores /

New Methods

ColdBlock Technologies
ColdBlock Strong Acid Digestion replaces traditional 4-acid digestion

In January 2023 ColdBlock Technologies published its new Strong Acid Digestion method. This method was developed to provide laboratories with a faster, safer alternative to traditional 4-acid digestion methods, while still providing the same accuracy and repeatability across sample types and matrices.

We will be presenting this new method and sharing results from our in-house testing of a 10 different CRM's. With ColdBlock’s new Strong Acid Digestion method, digestion cycle time is reduced from >1.5hrs to just 30 minutes. Of note, this is accomplished without the use of dangerous perchloric acid.

This new method utilizes ColdBlock’s new Pro Series CBM digester – a 16-sample digester that can be scaled up into a 32/48/64-sample platform. It also utilizes ColdBlock’s new test tube liners that permit the use of hydrofluoric acid.

Results demonstrate high recoveries relative to stated CRM expected values, and well within acceptable ranges for each CRM type. The results show potential for use with base metal, lithium, and uranium samples and wide range of matrices.

This new method is currently being rolled out for use at several commercial laboratories.

Presenter: Craig West/
Co-Author: Lorie Anne Doig
Co-author - Affiliation: ColdBlock Director Lab Services
PerkinElmer Inc.
Acuratly Quantifying Rare Earth Elements by the NexION 5000 multi-quadruple ICP-MS

Identifying deposits of rare earth elements (REE) that are economically viable to extract has become increasingly important. REEs have some desirable magnetic, luminescent and electrochemical properties that are desirable in high-tech industries from TV and computer screens to aircraft engines and high-power magnets. These properties are dependent on purity of the element. However, the same properties that make them desirable to industry can also make them difficult quantify analytically due to their ability to form oxides and double charges, causing interferences on other REE and other impurities such as arsenic and selenium respectively. The NexION 5000 multi-quadruple ICP-MS is perfectly suited to the analysis of such difficult elements due the unique powered interface and universal cell technology, making it ideal for reaction mode analysis necessary for REE analysis. Here we describe advanced ICP-MS techniques for accurately quantifying REE elements and removing the interferences caused by utilizing multi-quad ICP-MS and advanced reaction cell technology, and describe how these are utilized in applications.

Presenter: Ruth Merrifield /
Co-author: Aaron Hineman
Radom Corporation
Innovative Microwave Inductively Coupled Atmospheric Plasma – Optical Emission Spectroscopy (MICAP™-OES 1000) Flexible Sample Matrix and Full Spectrum Acquisition
Due to the power, exhaust, weight and gas supply constraints, traditional high performance atomic spectroscopy instruments are designed for laboratory use.
MICAP™-OES 1000 operates on industrial grade (99.98%) nitrogen and 1000 W power. The technology to create the stable plasma is called Cerawave™ which replaces the traditional water-cooled coil RF generators. The design of a light-weight modular component microwave plasma with an echelle-based, research grade spectrometer provides real-time full spectrum elemental fingerprint wherever needed.
MICAP™-OES 1000 is the frontline defense to capture critical elemental information, providing results for quick decisions in environmental monitoring, mining exploration and manufacturing processes.
This presentation will highlight MICAP performance for mining which will include accuracy, precision and robustness.
Presenter: Christine Rivera /
Co-Author: Eric Moen
Bruker AXS
Benchtop ED-XRF for Improved Quantification of Total Rare Earth Content

The mining of Rare Earth Elements (REE) is an important industry and the high value of these REEs makes it even feasible to mine for trace values. Due to their genesis, REEs are usually find all together in specific geological formations like carbonatite, clays, sediments and even Coals.

Determining if a location is worth for mining extraction is important due to financial but also ecological considerations. ED-XRF can be a quick and accurate method to measure indicator elements like Yttrium to determine the total REE concentration (TREE) in a sample. Unlike low power ED-XRF system, a benchtop system can easily determine ppm levels of Y, and at the same time does not require and extensive set up like a floor standing WD-XRF model.

In this short talk we discuss the correlation of TREE with and indicator element and provide more detail on sample preparation and expected accuracy.
Presenter: Julia Sedlmaira
Co-Author: Sid Pharasia
Co-Author: Arkady Bumana
Ernesco Technical + Advisory Services Inc.
How does Innovation Break Through in the Canadian Mineral Analysis Market? Some Recent Case Studies with Key Learnings

How does new technology and innovation reach Canada and the savvy mineral analyst?

The mining cycle (with its massive cash flow droughts) and (ever crushing industry) consolidation are 2 critical barriers to entry.

Four technical marketing case studies are discussed with key learning points presented.

Presenter: Alex Kuhnert /
RADOM Corporation
Design and Performance Review of Innovative Microwave Inductively Coupled Atmospheric Plasma – Optical Emission Spectroscopy (MICAP-OESTM-1000) Utilized in Determination of Elements in Matrix Reference Materials and In-Service Lubricating Oils Diluted with PremisolvTM .

Proper maintenance scheduling for critical engine and field machines should be considered to minimize cost, extend lifetime, and maximize performance. A regular maintenance schedule can be hard to implement based on the amount of service hours required in remote locations.

Radom MICAP-OES 1000 is a microwave inductively coupled atmospheric plasma which operates on industrial grade (99.9%) nitrogen and 1000 W power.  The technology to create the stable plasma is called Cerawave™ which replaces the traditional electric water-cooled coil coupled to an RF generator. The result is no argon and no chiller required. The benefits are a light-weight, compact instrument with the lowest carbon footprint and lowest cost per sample. This design can perform critical analyses for elements which indicate engine performance.

Presenter: Christine Rivera /
High Precision Elemental Analysis in Cathode Materials of Li-Ion Battery: Major Elements Determination in Lithium Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt Oxide using Avio 500 series ICP-OES

Lithium ion batteries are state-of–art power sources and widely used in variety of applications such as portable electronic devices, electric vehicles, and bikes. Precise and accurate determination of major elemental content is very important for performance and quality control of these Li-Ion batteries. This presentation will discuss the analytical requirements and challenges of cathode materials analysis, common methods, continuous real-time simultaneous internal standardization (CRTSIS approach), and analysis results.

Presenter: Sandeep Kumar/
Co-author: Aaron Hineman
Analytik Jena US LLC
Determination of precious and platin-group metals in copper ores and intermediate copper products
Nowadays, the demand for precious and platin-group metals (PGMs) has increased with the significant growth of economy. Chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) is the world’s most important copper ore. During the extraction of copper, the ore is concentrated using flotation and smelting processes. Resulting waste matter named slag is separated and often contains high amounts precious metals and PGMs. Thus, copper ore, slags and copper concentrates are analyzed for being a potential source of these valuable elements. In this study, results were achieved by taking advantage of the superior resolution (2 pm @ 200 nm) and the high sensitivity of the PlasmaQuant 9100 Elite. Additionally, application advantages originating from the implementation of powerful software tools (ABC, CSI) for background correction and removing spectral interferences are presented.
Presenter: Bartosz Jasiak /
Neutron activation analysis reveals bias in reference materials certifications

Neutron Activation Analysis is a referee technique for trace elements analysis which gives a total elemental analysis based on the nuclear properties of the elements in a sample independent of their chemical states. As such, NAA is a referee technique for accuracy, and especially important for the certification of reference materials. Nuclear proliferation concerns have led to the closure of most nuclear reactors historically used for NAA, with resulting decline in its awareness and use. Use of Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) for certification of reference materials has declined from > 50% of all results used for certifications in the 1970’s to < 20% in the last decade.1 Examples are discussed of bias in reference materials certified values from over-reliance on popular methods of analysis based on chemical vs. nuclear properties.

  1. The role of NAA in securing the accuracy of analytical results in inorganic trace analysis. R.S. Dybczyński, Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology, Warsaw, Poland, presented at 2nd International Conference on Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Budapest, May 2019.
Presenter: Kurt Headrick
Co-author: Steve Simpson, Bob Allen, and Blake Barber

Critical and Battery Metals

Agilent Technologies
10 Years of ICP-MS/MS

In 2012, Agilent forever changed ICPMS with the introduction of the first ever commercial ICP-MS/MS platform, the Agilent 8800. The unique mass-analyser consisted of two full-sized quadrupoles, one in front and one behind the octupole reaction/collision cell. The performance of the MS/MS mass analyzer was driven by the patented 5-stage vacuum system, which houses each quadrupole in a dedicated high vacuum region to provide low abundance sensitivity (<1x10-10), low backgrounds (<0.2cps), mass resolution of <1u (both quadrupoles) and thus allowed for a full exploitation of reaction modes in MS-MS mode. This unique design afforded a unique instrument platform that combined the ease-of-use and scan speeds of quadrupole based ICPMS with interference handling capabilities outperforming high resolution sector-field ICPMS systems, providing unmatched ICPMS performance. The ICP-MS/MS technology was quickly adopted into laboratories across the globe, resulting in a strongly growing number of research publications and new ICPMS applications. Taking the lessons learned from the 1st ever ICP-MS/MS, Agilent introduced a new, more powerful, generation of ICP-MS/MS systems, the Agilent 8900, in 2016. Join us for a 10th anniversary celebration of ground-breaking ICP-MS/MS technology and a brief history of Agilent’s ICP-MS/MS technology.

Presenter: R. Bastian Georg /
Co-author: Clint Walker
Co-author: Michael O’Byrne
Co-author: Jean-Louis Cabral
Malvern Panalytical
Why a sustainable future depends on better lithium mining and accurate mineralogical analysis
While lithium batteries have the potential to power a range of green technologies, true sustainability is only possible if batteries themselves are sustainably produced – and this all starts right at the beginning of the battery-making process. Mining and processing lithium efficiently depend on fast mineral characterization, to ensure both better monitoring and maximum recovery rates for lithium minerals during separation. Lithium is produced from two types of deposits: lithium-rich brines (dissolved lithium chloride), called salars, or hard-rock granite pegmatite deposits (lithium minerals, spodumene, petalite and lepidolite). As these processes can also benefit from monitoring the particle size (at-line or on-line) as well as elemental analysis for the process liquors a special focus will be given to accurate mineralogical analysis. The use of x-ray diffraction (XRD) to monitor mineral composition of lithium ore, concentrates and products before and after heat treatment (α,β-spodumene) as well for the analysis of the different evaporation phases during the treatment of brines will be discussed. The data evaluation shows that due to variable mineralogy blending of different lithium ore grades could improve the beneficiation process.
Presenter: Marie-Eve Provencher /
Co-author: Uwe König
Analysis of Trace Constituents in Anode and Cathode Materials used in Lithium Ion Batteries
With the growing appetite for energy storage solutions, Li-ion batteries have been the focus of a great deal of research and development over the last few years.  We will discuss the analysis of multiple anode and cathode materials for both major constituents and trace impurities using the Agilent 5900 ICPOES.  
Presenter: Greg Gilleland /
As part of the global initiative on sustainability and green energy, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are rapidly gaining in popularity and their share of the vehicle market is expected to increase at least 10-fold over the next decade. For comparison purposes, the value of the global lithium-ion battery market is expected to reach 93.1 billion USD by 2025. Development of lithium-ion batteries and research into their materials is at the forefront of the energy sector as it moves away from fossil fuels. It is also not surprising consequently that recycling is one of the major topics for lithium-ion batteries.
The objectives of this presentation are to demonstrate the application of ICP-OES and ICP-MS techniques for the analysis of impurities and bulk elements in lithium-ion batteries. This presentation will cover raw material application examples as well as the analysis of recycled materials.
Presenter: Luc Dionne /
Agilent Technologies
From Brines to Minerals – Agilent’s Atomic Solutions for Lithium Mining Industry

As a key raw material in the production of high density and rechargeable batteries, Lithium has been heavily sought after in recent years. The two major sources for lithium are 1) lithium brines, which includes salt-lake brine, seawater, geothermal brine etc., and 2) lithium bearing minerals, most commonly spodumene, petalite and lepidolite from pegmatite deposits. Both sources have respective advantages when it comes to mining, with Lithium brines accounting for over 70% of the total lithium reserve, while hard rock pegmatite mines having much higher grade of LiO2 at around 1~4%. Meanwhile, exploration and extraction for both types of resources face technical challenges that require information on the chemical compositions of the brines/ores, demanding effective analytical solutions for these sample types. However, lithium brines and mineral fusion digests have heavy and complex matrices with high total dissolved solids (TDS) which promote deposition and clogging in the sample introduction systems while introducing spectral and non-spectral interferences. These samples require robust atomic spectroscopy instrumentation and appropriate methods for routine analysis on an operational basis. Agilent Technologies have developed several methods for fast and accurate analyses of lithium and other major and minor elements in lithium brines and spodumene digests, using the Agilent 5800 VDV ICP-OES and Agilent 240 FS AAS. These methods focus on sample preparation, speed, detection limit, carryover management as well as ease of use, providing a complete suite of solutions for the lithium mining industry. 

Presenter: Longbo Yang /
Co-author: Marc-Andre Gagnon
Co-author: Neli Drvodelic
CEM Corporation
Recent advances in microwave digestion for Li Battery materials
Electrification is the rage in both EV car production as well as energy storage and other mobile applications. It is a worldwide phenomenon with more that 40 million electric vehicles having been sold since 2012 and the numbers are doubling every two years. China leads the world in EV car sales but the North American market will be the fastest growing market in the next few years as more US car manufacturers offer these vehicles and government incentives help the consumer with the cost of ownership. The lithium battery is the heart of all of these electric vehicles. However, many other elements such as iron, cobalt, nickel and manganese to name a few are also in great demand. The challenge is not only to be able to mine these elements to meet production capacities but to refine them to provide the highest purity materials as possible. Impurities are the nemesis to the industry reducing efficiencies, battery life and even safety. The ability to quantify materials into the low and sub ppb range will be critical as this industry looks towards the next generation of batteries. CEM recently launched the BLADE microwave digestion system. The BLADE is a high performance automated system designed to meet the challenges of the high temperature and pressure conditions required to prepare the variety of anode, cathode, separator and electrolyte materials used in battery construction. We will show digestion conditions and results for a wide variety of samples identified above.
Presenter: Jessica Giles /
Analytical solutions to key challenges in production and quality control of battery materials to improve device performance
Optimizing the production of battery components while monitoring their quality characteristics in each step of the fabrication process is critical to the perennity of this sector of economic activity. From the characterization of raw materials to cell assembly, a range of analytical solutions aiming at improving cell production efficiency and at minimizing waste can be used. In particular, the application of X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and Laser Diffraction (LD) technologies has proven to be suitable to determine key factors affecting the performance of final products. We will demonstrate that a judicious combination of XRF and LD technologies is a winning strategy to monitor the morphology and the chemical composition of battery materials, which are known to be closely related to battery performance.
Benchtop energy-dispersive (ED-XRF) and floor-standing wavelength-dispersive (WD-XRF) instruments have been used for the elemental analysis of powders and liquid samples with good results in terms of precision and accuracy. In this regard, the control of purity of anode/cathode precursors and the monitoring of quality of final products and recycled battery wastes can be achieved easily, with high throughput and reliability. In addition, LD allows for rapid and precise measurements of the particle size distributions for both raw precursors and produced anodic/cathodic powder materials. Throughout the electrode production steps, particle sizes are crucial to attain optimal performance of batteries and to ensure the highest electrode quality. As such, controlling the quality of processes by characterizing both the composition and the size of the materials that compose the electrode in batteries.
Presenter: Jérémie Asselin /
Vertex Environmental
How the Design, Construction and Performance of Passive Treatment Barriers for ML/ARD Keeps Getting Better

Metal leachate and acid rock drainage (ML/ARD) are common issues at mine sites and at other industrial sites, such as metal plating operations. When such sites are situated in the vicinity of surface water bodies, or the groundwater plumes extend to property boundaries, this can pose environmental risks to aquatic life and/or can result in significant regulatory or legal liability. The long-term presence of ML/ARD at such sites requires an equally long-term solution.

Recent developments have allowed the design and long‑term performance of passive treatment barriers for groundwater plumes containing heavy metals to be assessed.

This talk will present:

  • ML/ARD related contaminants of concern that can be treated via these passive treatment barriers;
  • Recent advances in barrier design, installation and validation techniques that make the performance of these barriers more certain and better than ever; and
  • Case studies on an:
    • Arsenic plume site; and
    • Antimony, cadmium and zinc plume site

The case studies will include a presentation of site characteristics, remedial approach and post-remediation groundwater monitoring data demonstrating that remedial targets were achieved and maintained.

Presenter: Kevin French