Industrial Mineral Resource Assessment

Resource evaluation fieldwork, Zambia
Lime burning trials for limestone assessment

The BGS industrial minerals evaluation consultancy service is founded on the extensive UK and international experience of its staff and the well-equipped laboratory facilities. The services offered include:

  • Industrial mineral consultation: Impartial advice on resource assessment, laboratory test work, mineral processing & commodity evaluation by the BGS industrial minerals experts.
  • Industrial mineral resource assessment: involving reconnaissance surveying of resources, field sampling, GIS-based resource maps, reports and investment promotion brochures.
  • Laboratory test work: Characterisation of samples to determine their:
    • Mineralogical properties using techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermal analysis, optical and scanning electron microscopy to provide qualitative and quantitative identification of mineral composition including grade and assay.
    • Chemical properties by geochemical analysis (e.g. X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRFS), ICP-AES, ICP-MS) to include the determination of major and trace element compositions.
    • Physical properties including particle-size distribution, mineral filler properties (brightness/ whiteness, pH, specific gravity, bulk density & oil absorption), lime burning properties, ceramic clay properties and surface area.

This can be accompanied by advice for mineral processing and commodity evaluation.

  • Mineral processing testwork: involving mineral liberation analysis, sample preparation and mineral processing (up to pilot-scale); otherwise known as mineral separation or beneficiation. Mineral processing test work available includes heavy media separation, gravity separation (Knelson Concentrator) and magnetic separation (Frantz and Carpco).
  • Commodity evaluation: involving assessment of the technical suitability for industrial use of commodities such as ball clay, barytes (barite), beach sand (including ilmenite, rutile and zircon), bentonite, brick clay, calcite, cement raw materials, construction aggregate, feldspar, fire clay, fluorspar, fullers earth, gypsum, kaolin, limestone & dolomite, quarry fines, silica sand, mineral waste and many other industrial minerals.
  • Industrial minerals markets: the value of the technical evaluation can be enhanced by advice on potential markets, market survey research and investment promotion activities. The BGS industrial minerals staff have carried out research and investment promotion in many countries, including: Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, the UAE, and Zambia
  • Industrial minerals training and workshops: training modules and workshops cover the importance of industrial minerals, markets, concepts, commodities, exploration, characterisation, mineral processing and end-use testing. Details in the BGS Geoschool training catalogue.

Recent industrial mineral work includes the assessment of the potash in North Yorkshire, limestone and dimension stone resources of the UAE, construction materials training of laboratory staff at the Afghan Geological Survey and assessment of limestone resources in Zambia.

There are six BGS industrial mineral laboratory manuals available as free downloads: Limestone, Flake Graphite, Diatomite, Kaolin, Bentonite and Construction Materials.

Further information on industrial minerals can be found here: and here:


For further information please contact:Clive J Mitchell