Determination of Gold, Palladium, and Platinum in Noble Metal Ores Prepared by Fire Assay

Noble metals—especially Au, Pd, and Pt—have been extracted from ores for centuries. Due to their relative inert properties, the use of noble metals has evolved over time (1-3). Modern day uses of metals such as Au, Pt, Pd, Rh, Ir, and Ag still include jewelry, plus a range of other high value applications. Examples include semiconductor devices, catalytic converters, and alloys. Many methods have been used to quantify these metals over the years, from titrimetric techniques to high-end analytical instrumentation (4-6). When instrumental techniques are used to analyze noble metals in geological ores, samples are typically prepared for analysis using fire assay (7, 8).

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