Cu in geological samples

The demand for copper especially by the electronic industry has constantly increased over the last decades, and it is expected that 20 million tons of copper ore will be dig up annually by 2020. It is applications of copper in wiring and cables, in circuit boards and electronic assemblies that are driving this development; and so the grade of copper impacts on the price to be achieved by mining companies and smelters. Flame atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) is a simple, robust and cost-effective method used by many mining companies and smelters to quantify copper – in ores and pre-concentrated metallic form – over a wide concentrations range from medium ppm (mg/kg) to high percentage (wt%) values. In contrast, impurity control of high-purity copper e.g., for antimony, bismuth, phosphorous, and tin is typically done by ICP-techniques that are true multi-element techniques with significantly higher sensitivity; hence, covering the ppb (μg/kg) to ppm (mg/kg) range.

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