“Sudbury is the hub of the mineral analysis sector for Eastern Canada because we have a very, very strong analytical community here with Vale and Xstrata, the OGS’s Geoscience Laboratories and several independent labs,” said Debicki.
The city is also popular with the instrument manufacturers, many of whom are located in southern Ontario, he noted.
“They like Sudbury as a venue because it’s easy for them to load their instruments into their vehicle and drive up, rather than having to ship them.”
Delegates will have an opportunity to learn about the latest and greatest analytical technology, including inductively coupled plasma spectrometry and autosamplers that are revolutionizing mineral analysis.
“What’s happening in our industry is that we continue to be able to detect at lower and lower detection limits,” said Debicki. “Inductively coupled plasma technology enables us to analyze many, many elements on the periodic table all at the same time, and with autosamplers, we can load up these instruments with 200 or 300 samples and let them run overnight.”
Labs are keen to stay as current as possible with analytical technology because, “otherwise, they get left behind,” said Debicki. “Our community is fairly small, so if you’re a mining company and you’re using an analytical lab, you want to know that it has the latest technology and can provide you with the best possible analytical data.”
Data available from inductively coupled plasma spectrometry allows mining companies to analyze a geological environment for clues and signatures that indicate whether they are close to an orebody.