At every stage of mining, a lab is needed to test some sample or other. During exploration there are soil and rock samples to test, during production there are metallurgical and environmental samples to test, and during reclamation there are water quality samples that determine the success of closure. Here is a brief overview of laboratories that service the needs of the mining industry.

A good overview of laboratories for mines is in Testing Times – Mining Magazine, January 207. The complete issue is available for download; it takes a while but is worth the wait.

Testing Times divides labs for mining into these categories:

  • Geochemical including exploration.
  • Production including environmental analysis and production sampling and grade control.
  • Commercial including testing of shipped products such as concentrates and ingots.

Of course the range of services a lab can provide for a mine is in theory infinite. For example, in the InfoMine Library there are at least forty technical papers on what labs have done to help mines advance. I tried with key words “laboratory mine” and carefully excluded data to preclude information about data-mining. 2,300 books came up—a fascinating list, but nothing specifically on the topic that I could locate.

Mining Magazine lists these labs as amongst the industry leaders:

Not that a high Google listing means anything if you do not have it, but I see Kalassay Group in the top ten. So whatever else they have, they have a devoted following, and for my money, an information-filled site. A site visit may repay your time too.

InfoMine lists 340 labs under a number of categories including

On the web, I found, inter alia, these information-filled sites (not conventional labs, I admit, but fun sites nevertheless):