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Base metals such as copper, zinc, nickel and lead are assayed to provide accurate determinations for high value materials.


At SGS we can provide analysis of base metals including:

  • Ore-grade samples
  • Concentrates
  • Bullion
  • Smelted products
  • Recycled material
  • Electronic scrap
  • Other metal-bearing materials

Through our global network of laboratories, SGS experts offer a variety of instrumental and classical techniques to ensure accurate base metal assays. We will help you select a method that is best for your sample type to ensure you get the data you need.

We also offer ore-grade analysis for samples containing percent levels of elements. We can offer different techniques depending on the concentrations of base metals in the sample.

ConcentrationMethod/instrumentType of sampleIn support of…
ppm - low % ICP-AES rocks & ores environmental, geochemical analysis
low % XRF ores & metal products metallurgical support
high % classical methods concentrates, metals commercial analysis (settlement, trade, umpire)

The following table is a selection of analytical methods and instruments SGS offers for copper, lead, zinc and nickel assays from 1% to 100%.

Base MetalMulti-Acid (4Acid)Sodium Peroxide FusionIndividual Methods
Copper AAS42S, ICP42S, AAS43B ICP90A, ICP90B CON13V
Nickel AAS42S, ICP42S, AAS43B ICP90A, ICP90B CON11V

Partner with SGS and have confidence that your important decisions are based on unparalleled geochemical sampling and analysis.

Base metal assays in the USA

The service in which you are interested is not currently available in the USA. However, SGS has an extensive network of laboratories in Canada, ranging from our Centers of Excellence in Toronto and Lakefield, to our regional service labs in Vancouver, Red Lake and Cochrane and our sample preparation and on-site mine labs in Sudbury and the Yukon.  We bring you over 50 years of experience in:

  • Fire assay by lead and nickel preconcentration
  • MMITM (Mobile Metal Ion) analysis (Toronto only)
  • Multi-element ICP-AES and ICP-MS analysis preceded by various digestion techniques
  • X-ray fluorescence
  • Environmental analysis
  • Ore and commercial assays

Contact us to find out more.