Manganese nodules obtained from the ocean bottom are a vast potential source of minerals. These nodules, whose composition depend on their source, have an average composition of about 20% manganese, 14% iron, and 0.5% each of cobalt, nickel, and copper.
X-ray spectroscopy was investigated as a method for the analysis of the nodules, and analytical control during the process of extracting and recovering the minerals.
The basic borax fusion technique of Fernand Claisse (R. P, No. 327, Department of Mines, Quebec) was used. The influence of matrix elements was determined and corrections applied. The binary systems in borax were compared with the curves calculated from pure metals using the methods and calculations of Beattie and Brissey.
The results indicate that the fusion method is sufficiently rapid and accurate for use in the control analysis of manganese nodules.