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Automated Mineralogy

Sandy Oolitic Limestone_edited.jpg

Automated mineralogy is an electron microscope-based analysis method that mineralogically images and quantifies samples. Analysis is automated allowing very large amounts of data to be collected in a short period of time and hence large sample runs can be analysed quickly, consistently, and effectively.

Most sample types can be accommodated including core chips, plugs, slabs, particulates such as cuttings, mill concentrates or tailings, thin sections (uncovered / polished), and even dusts or filtered sediment from produced water / water disposal facilities.

Data are consistent, accurate, and include textural information such as mineral association, size, shape, and liberation along with detailed mineral images for more qualitative assessments of the rock fabric, particle shape etc.

The versatility of the analysis, coupled with the data- and image-rich outputs, mean that the method is used in a range of application areas from oil, gas, and mining exploration through to archaeology and even forensics.

Top: Automated mineralogy image of sandy limestone from Libya. Pale blue is sparry calcite (mainly bioclasts), lavender blue is microporous, micritic calcite, and green is chlorite.

Bottom: Calcareous arkose drill cuttings fragments from a tight gas reservoir. Calcite (pale blue) occurs as pore-filling cement as well as in thin calcareous veins. The presence of these veins can be advantageous during fraccing.

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