Laboratory Services Laboratory Services

The Tasmanian Department of Infrastructure Energy and Resources, Division of Mineral Resources, Laboratories at Hobart provide analytical services mainly for internal clients, but where no equivalent service exists in the state, for external clients also. There are five main laboratories: XRF, XRD / Soils, Lapidary, Microscopy / asbestos / petrology and Chemical / NDIR. Please contact the laboratory manager to enquire about our laboratory services.

A list of laboratory services costs can be found here.


Services and prices and sample submission requirements
Sample submission form






Soil, rock and mineral samples can be analysed for most major elements on a fused disk, and for most trace elements on a pressed pellet, in a Bruker ASX58 XRF, with proprietary Bruker software and a series of commercial standards.


The carbon and sulphur contents of soil and rock samples can be determined by Nondispersive infrared (NDIR) analysis using a Bruker G4 Icarus analyser.


Soil, rock and mineral samples, and many synthetic inorganic materials, can be analysed for their mineralogy on an automated Philips X-Ray diffractometer system: PW 1729 generator, PW 1050 goniometer and PW 1710 microprocessor with nickel-filtered copper radiation at 40kV/30mA, a graphite monochromator (PW1752), sample spinner and a proportional detector (sealed gas filled PW1711). The PW1710 system is presently driven by the CSIRO XRD software: "PW1710 for Windows" and "XPLOT for Windows". Interpretation and quantification is largely manual, using a series of prepared standards of the more common minerals to enable some semi-quantitative analysis.

Soil Tests

Soil samples can be tested for various physical properties, mostly relating to construction suitability and geohazards, and include: Atterberg Limits, Shearbox, Emerson Dispersion, Sieve size, Sediment size and Moisture determination.

Asbestos Tests

Rocks, soils, dusts, building and industrial materials can be tested for asbestos content, with determination of the asbestos type, using normal and polarised light microscopy and XRD.

Lapidary and Petrology

Rock, gravel and sand samples can be examined for their mineral composition and texture by optical microscopy, by preparing samples as very thin slices and studying them by polarised light microscopy, or polishing them to study ore minerals using polarised reflected light microscopy. The thin sectioning and polishing are done in our lapidary laboratories.

Construction material studies

Rock, gravel and sand samples can be examined for their suitability for cobnstruction purposes, including Alkali-aggregate reactivity potential, secondary mineral content, and quartz contents, using XRD and optical microscopy. Concrete can be similarly investigated.


Many other miscellaneous tests can be conducted, including sample preparation (sawing, crushing, etc), density, quartz and other mineral contents in dusts for occupational health studies, chemical treatments, etc.


Contact: Ralph Bottrill, Lab Manager, Mineralogist and Petrologist, Metallic Minerals and Geochemistry

Telephone: 61 3 6165 4715

Mobile: 0429 173 055

Facsimile: 61 3 6173 0222


Postal address: PO Box 56, ROSNY PARK,TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA 7018