Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 11, Dec, 1979, pp. 375 – 386
Department of Geography & Geology, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Abstract: Sampling errors and chemical interferences are largely responsible for many discrepancies in tin results obtained by various rapid geochemical techniques. For geochemical prospecting purposes it would be too expensive and time-consuming to analyse bulk samples, therefore, representative small samples must be used. However, measures for obtaining representative sub-samples are often neglected, thus rendering the results meaningless.
The merits and limitations of four geochemical methods currently in use for tin prospecting have been briefly assessed. The methods examined include the colorimetric technique, the emission spectrographic technique, the radioisotope X-ray flourescence technique and the atomic absorption technique. It is concluded that the atomic absorption method is superior to the other methods because it is more precise and that it is relatively free of chemical interferences. However, it is essential that the samples are free of calcareous material and that these samples are homogenised by grinding a representative portion of the original samples.