analysis and reporting on metalliferous ores, gold and PGM, industrial minerals, slags and contaminants.


analysis and reporting on rocks, aggregates, building stone, slate, concrete, render and mortar.

Mundic Property Search

Since 1991, Petrolab has completed thousands of concrete screening tests on properties throughout Cornwall. Search our database and and see if your property is one of those tested.

Sample Preparation

Preparation of petrographic thin sections from samples and specimens of rock, aggregate, concrete and other similar materials.

Why Petrolab?

Mineralogical analysis

  • Identification and quantification of valuable and gangue minerals in ores
  • Ore characterisation
  • Predicting the behaviour of minerals during ore processing
  • Mineralogical description and quantitative analysis of mill products

Petrographic analysis

  • Examination of concrete, mortar and render to identify degradation factors.
  • Examination of rock, aggregate, building stone and slate.
  • Mundic Screening Tests for building structures suspected of containing ‘mundic’ concrete.

Sample preparation

Petrolab offers a materials preparation service producing petrographic thin sections from samples and specimens of

  • rock
  • aggregate
  • fossil / coral
  • concrete and other similar materials

We operate the first Pelcon Automatic Thin Section Machine in the UK, which produces high quality thin sections.

Our Clients

Petrolab has provided a wide range of services to industry leading clients including:


Latest News

New Paper: Automated Environmental Mineralogy

Following the recently attended Sustainable Minerals conference, and the feedback we received our paper on the use of automated mineralogy has now been published in Minerals Engineering. Corrected proofs of the paper can be viewed here, with more information behind the rationale for the research here. This work has been a three-way collaboration between SRK Consulting, Geochemic and ourselves. This paper represents the first exploration of our use of Zeiss Mineralogic with mine waste assessments with more planned in the coming months. Abstract The prediction of acid rock drainage and metal leaching (ARDML) from mine sites requires a detailed understanding of the site specific rates and mechanisms of weathering. This is typically obtained through geochemical and mineralogical characterisation testwork that is undertaken on representative materials. One of the key components of this characterisation work is kinetic testing which generates critical data on the rate at which minerals within waste materials weather in the presence of moisture and oxygen. One of the most commonly applied kinetic tests is the humidity cell test (HCT) in which granulated material is exposed to cyclical dry and humid air and periodic leaching. Knowing when to terminate a HCT is one of the key challenges encountered whilst undertaking a kinetic program. It is essential to balance the economics of continuing tests for extended durations with the danger of missing critical data if the test is terminated too early. This is particularly true where there are discrepancies in prediction between basic diagnostic (static) tests and kinetic tests. This may occur for example when corresponding static geochemical tests have predicted a significant potential for ARDML but the HCT... read more

Mineralogic 101 – Making the most of Mineral Lists

In a previous post we discussed the analysis modes that are fundamental to the data collection on Zeiss Mineralogic. In this post we’ll explore some of the basics of Mineral lists and some of the pitfalls to watch out for. As with any automated mineralogy software there are some foundational aspects that need to be established for the sample before any Mineral List can be set-up. These things include telling the software how many samples there are in the SEM, where those samples are, and in the case of non-standard sections, how big the samples are. The beam then needs to be calibrated and brightness and contrast set at a value that is suitable for the sample being analysed. With these set-up and the analysis mode decided it is then possible to move on to defining the Mineral List. A well developed Mineral List is a necessary pre-requisite to any data collection and interpretation.

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Mineralogic 101 – Analysis Modes

ZEISS Mineralogic Mining is an automated particle analysis software solution tailored towards process mineralogy applications and allows for detailed acquisition of characteristics relevant to mineral processing, exploration, environmental mineralogy and tailings control (See Graham et al., 2015, Tonzetic, 2014; Graham et al., 2014a and references herein). This is the first of several posts exploring the Zeiss Mineralogic software with subsequent posts looking at topics such as image processing and analysis tools; post-processing tools and typical end uses. First of all though the data needs to be collected and the first thing to be decided is which analysis mode to use – essentially how are data to be collected from each particle / phase.

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