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Modern geoehemical studies have evolved significantly over the last few decades. Exploration programs have become more ambitious and have expanded to cover entire nations, requiring many tens of thousands of analyses. With the increased demand for chemical analyses, many laboratories have opted for automated, rapid, high-technology instruments, rather than adding a larger number of skilled personnel. It is not clear whether the advance of automated instrumentation in the laboratory predated the demand for large numbers of analyses, but with the increased availability of computers, even basic research problems have come to employ larger numbers of samples. Because modern geochemical laboratories can seldom have all new analytical equipment, from the beginning it is clear that priorities must be assigned and choices made when selecting each new instrument.