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Mobile Metal Ion (MMI) geochemistry is a proven advanced geochemical exploration technique known to find mineral deposits. 


It is especially well suited for deeply buried mineral deposits. MMI™ measures metal ions that travel upward from mineralization to unconsolidated surface materials such soil, till, sand and so on. These mobile metal ions are released from mineralized material and travel upward toward the surface. Using careful soil sampling strategies, sophisticated chemical ligands and ultra sensitive instrumentation, SGS is able to measure these ions. After interpretation, MMI data can indicate anomalous areas.

SGS is the sole provider of MMI technology. We have over 15 years of experience providing this technology, and as a result of this long-term commitment, we are the market leaders in ion extraction technology and geochemical exploration.

There are many benefits to using MMI technology for soil geochemistry:

  • Few false anomalies
  • Focused, sharp anomalies
  • Excellent repeatability
  • Definition of metal zones and associations
  • Detection of deeply buried mineralization
  • Low background values (low noise)
  • Low limits of detection

MMI technology is an innovative analytical process that uses a unique approach to the analysis of metals in soils and related materials. Target elements are extracted using weak solutions of organic and inorganic compounds rather than conventional aggressive acid or cyanide-based digests. MMI solutions contain strong ligands, which detach and hold metal ions that were loosely bound to soil particles by weak atomic forces in aqueous solution. This extraction does not dissolve the bound forms of the metal ions. Thus, the metal ions in the MMI solutions are the chemically active or ‘mobile’ component of the sample. Because these mobile, loosely bound complexes are in very low concentrations, measurement is by conventional ICP-MS and the latest evolution of this technology, ICP-MS Dynamic Reaction Cell™ (DRC II™). This allows us to report very low detection limits.

MMI technology uses proprietary extractants. MMI-M is a new, single multi-element leach that now provides an option to measure the concentration of a broad selection of mobile elements. With MMI-M, you can create your own individual multi-element packages, using any or all commodity elements, diamond host rock elements, lithological elements or pathfinder elements. SGS also offers enhanced detection limits with the MMI-ME package.

Partner with SGS and use MMI technology for exploration success and more precise drill hole targeting.