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Reference Materials

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Reference Materials

ROCKLABS® Reference Materials, or laboratory standards, are pulversied rock with known gold content and suitable for analysis by assay or aqua regia digest.

ROCKLABS is the world-leading producer of high-quality Certified Reference Materials. These are low cost, quality control aids used on an "every batch" basis to monitor the analytical process. They can be used by laboratories or by geologists who can submit Reference Materials in sachets together with their samples.

  • Recognised as the most accurate and reliable reference materials globally
  • Tested and certified
  • ROCKLABS chemists, geologists and a statistician available for advice and support

How Are They Prepared?

These Reference Materials (also known as laboratory standards) are prepared from mineral matrices that contain gold which is uniformly distributed throughout the pulverized rock. Once appropriate material has been prepared and been confirmed as suitable by laboratory analysis it is packaged in to sachets or jars. A full homogeneity test is then carried out on a representative number of sub-samples from the packaged batch.

If there is no significant difference found between the sub-samples then the gold content is determined by consensus testing using a minimum of 15 reputable laboratories from several different countries. Standard statistical techniques are used to assign a recommended gold value with associated 95% confidence interval. Each sachet or jar is labeled with a unique number. A certificate, which includes details of the production and characterisation of the Reference Material, is issued with each consignment of sachets or jars sold.

Who Can Use Them?

Laboratories will use them as part of their normal quality control process. Competent laboratories already do this but often they use "standards" which they have made themselves and which have not been subjected to rigorous homogeneity tests or had the gold concentration accurately determined through analysis by a large number of quality laboratories. Sachets are supplied with a "Labcheck" label when used by laboratories as part of their own quality-monitoring program. Laboratories may prefer to use Reference Materials packed in wide mouthed jars and which contain 2.5kg. Jars of Reference Material have been tested to check that the gold does not settle out from vibrations, eg during transport.

Exploration and mine geologists can submit one sachet (option of 30g or 50g sizes available) with every batch of samples they send to the laboratory for gold analysis. If they send large batches they may choose to include one sachet with every 50 samples submitted. The sachets are robust and can be "thrown" in with their other samples. Because the sachets are sealed it does not matter if they get dirty or wet on the outside. Sachets are supplied with a "Geocheck" label when used by geologists submitting samples to a laboratory. They have a unique number on every sachet, but do not have the name of the Reference Material on the label.

Advice on the use of Reference Materials

ROCKLABS has a team of chemists, geologists and a statistician to advise on the use of ROCKLABS Reference Materials and the analysis of analytical results. All users of our Reference Materials are encouraged to use our template to plot Reference Materials analytical results.