X-ray diffraction (XRD) is a well-recognised, invaluable tool to provide detailed mineralogical analysis on a wide range of applications. However, despite the wide use of XRD in many industries, there are currently few recognised standard methods for quantitative XRD analysis and none for the analysis of iron ore materials. An initial step towards preparing a standard method for XRD analysis of iron ores was to assess the current level of precision achievable by practitioners of the technique by organising an international round robin. Six Australian chemically certified iron ore reference materials were distributed to over 100 international participants. A summary of over 120 data sets from more than 80 participants is presented. Results show that a bewildering array of techniques for sample preparation, data collection, phase identification and quantification were used. The reported values for the main components (ie hematite, goethite, quartz and amorphous content) show not only extensive variability between participants but also within participants’ results for those who submitted multiple data sets. The disappointing low level of precision exhibited for a relatively simple mineral phase system indicates a strong requirement for development of a standardised procedure.
Raven, M D and Birch, S L, 2017. Summary of results of an international X-ray diffraction round robin for mineralogical analysis of iron ores, in Proceedings Iron Ore 2017, pp 599–604 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).