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Welcome to the Actlabs Group of Companies.

Activation Laboratories Ltd. (Actlabs) is ISO 17025 accredited and/or certified to 9001: 2008. With 25+ years experience, our full analytical laboratories perform high quality analysis to many industries across the world. We also provide fast turnaround time and responsive and knowledgeable customer service. A Global Company with a local presence. No matter where you are, we can help you with your analytical needs.  

Quotes or Inquiries: web form

Tribute to Dr. Eric L. Hoffman - Founder of Actlabs

Our routine services include sample preparation, precious metals geochemistry by lead fire assay as well as nickel sulphide fire assay (gold, silver and platinum group metals-PGE), base metal assays and assays for virtually any element.

Using our high technology instrumentation we have developed:

Our wide range of instrumentation is unique in mineral exploration and research laboratories and includes the following instrumentation to help solve any problem.

Fire assay- Both lead and nickel sulphide, with atomic absorption (AAS), inductively coupled plasma emission (ICP), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP/MS), neutron activation (INAA) or gravimetric finishes can analyze all precious metals including gold, silver and platinum group metals.

Multielement trace metal geochemistry - Includes methods developed by ICP/MS, INAA, ICP, x-ray fluorescence (XRF) with aqua regia, multi-acid and peroxide fusions. Our litho-geochemical packages include instrumental techniques like INAA, XRF and laser ablation combined with lithium metaborate/tetraborate and peroxide fusions combined with ICP, ICP/MS to provide research quality data for over 60 elements.

Biogeochemical - Methods include instrumental (INAA) as well as direct analysis on ash or raw vegetation by ICP, ICP/MS or high resolution ICP/MS (HR-ICP/MS).

Hydrogeochemical - Packages include ICP, ICP/MS, HR-ICP/MS, ion chromatography, gas chromatography- mass spectrometry (GC-MS), UV-VIS spectrophotometry, scalar autoanalyzer for cyanide compounds, capillary electrophoresis (CE) and high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), total organic carbon (TOC), laser particle size analyzer and triple quad mass spectrometers (LC-MS-MS) to solve virtually any hydrogeochemistry problem.

Combustion Testing - Equipment including carbon-sulphur-nitrogen-hydrogen and oxygen analyzers (CHNS, CNS, CS including induction and resistance furnaces, NOH, CO2-H2O,CO2 coulometer). In addition there are DT/TGA, DSC, polarimetry, titration, mercury analyzers to help solve virtually any problem.

Geometallurgy - The new field emission gun-scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive x-ray spatial analyzer (FEG-MLA) with quantitation automation will be highly utilized in our geometallurgy laboratory.

Analytical methods - Include Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA), Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP), Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP/MS), High Resolution ICP/MS (HR ICP/MS), Laser ablation, X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), LECO, Fire Assay, Ion Chromatography, Capillary Electrophoresis, Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS), GC/MS/MS, High Pressure liquid chromatrography (HPLC) with UV/VIS, Diode Array and refractive index detectors, TGA/DTA, Differential Scanning Calorimeter, Liquid chromatography triple quadruple Q-trap (LC/MS/MS) Laser Particle Size Analyser, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR), Auto analyzers, Automated titrators, CO2/H2O analyzers and Coulometer.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: Is ISO 17025 the same as ISO 9001?

    A: The ISO 9001 quality system is not as stringent as the ISO 17025 standard. In the ISO 17025 standard all accredited methods are audited by experienced peers to ensure they conform to recognized analytical standards and that the method validation verifies a number of analytical variables to ensure the data that will be obtained is defensible. The ISO 9001 does not look at analytical methods at all, only the quality system.

  2. Q: How Do I submit samples to your lab?

    A: Please select the market you wish to submit samples to:
    Geochemistry , Geochronology, Geometallurgy, Petroleum, Forensics, Materials Testing , Environmental, Pharmaceuticals , Biotechnology

  3. Q: How do I choose the proper analytical package Geochem quality versus Assay Quality?

    In making analytical selections, clients should carefully consider the detection limits achievable by the various procedures. A detection limit stated by Actlabs has an uncertainty of +/- 100%; in other words, a detection limit of 1 ppm implies an uncertainty of 1 ppm +/- 1 ppm. Geochemical analyses at 100 times the detection limit will usually have an associated error of 5 to 20%. If you choose an assay quality analytical package then the uncertainty at 100 times the detection limit will be better than 5% and typically in the 2-3% range.

  4. Q: Are all labs packages the same for the same technique?

    A: What looks like the same procedure at different analytical labs are not necessarily the same. Generally you would expect total metal packages to yield similar results as the lab should be measuring total metals. Calibration methods , standards available, analytical equipment available, age of equipment, personnel training, cleanliness etc will also have a dramatic effect on results. The problem becomes much more extreme when partial or ‘near total’ digestions are used. Here the methodologies vary widely with some doing aqua regia digestions in hot water baths which can barely reach even 80 degrees to hot block digestions at 115 degrees in order to cut down the digestion time. All this has a vast effect on metal recoveries. "Near total digestions" can range from 4 hours with a maximum of 160 degrees C to 18 hours ramping up to 260 degrees C. This will have a vast effect on what goes into solution.

  5. Q: Are all analytical packages the same? The concept of "Fitness for Purpose"

    A: All analytical methods have limitations to some degree. For example, an aqua regia digestion for gold is suitable for soils and sediments because the gold is expected to be largely available for chemical attack and this might give you a partial concentration. The same cannot be said for an aqua regia digestion of rocks and drill cuttings where the gold may be retained in an insoluble quartz matrix or otherwise encapsulated. For rocks and drill cuttings, a lead fire assay method is clearly the superior method to obtain a total gold concentration.

    Another common limitation of analytical methods are for REE elements. REE elements digested by either aqua regia (code UT1) or 4 acid digestion (code UT4) might be only partially digested due to the different types of acid resistant mineral phases present. If you require total values for REE then a metaborate fusion would be better. This is offered by our 4litho or 4 lithores or the special major element REE quantitative Code 8 assay packages. There are circumstances where high phosphate may cause solubility packages with these metaborate packages. This can be remedied by using fusion XRF.

If you have a question, please contact us .

Activation Laboratories Ltd. | 41 Bittern Street, Ancaster, Ontario, L9G 4V5, Canada | TF: +1.888.228.5227
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