FAQs - Certified Reference Materials

A Quality Control Program in a Bottle

The Canadian Certified Reference Materials Project (CCRMP) of CANMET's Mining and Mineral Sciences Laboratories (MMSL) prepares and certifies reference materials principally for Canada's mineral, metallurgical, earth science, and environmental industries. CCRMP also has a lab proficiency testing program.

  • Why should I use certified reference materials?

    Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) improve the reliability of measurements performed in the laboratory by serving as a control to verify the accuracy and precision of instrumentation or analytical methods. The accuracy of laboratory measurements has an important bearing on such issues as whether exploration of an area should continue, whether mining is economical, whether a concentrate is undervalued, or whether emission control specifications are being met. Improved laboratory analyses through the use of CRMs can therefore affect decisions concerning the economics of exploration and mining, the commodity value, and actions to safeguard the environment.

  • Why should I choose CANMET-MMSL's reference materials?

    CANMET-MMSL is the world leader in providing CRMs of precious metals, sulphide ores, concentrates and tailings. More than 1200 laboratories in 70 countries have purchased one or more of CANMET-MMSL's 100 reference materials. Since the program was instituted in 1961, CANMET-MMSL has sold about 50 000 units of CRMs.

  • What reference materials are available from CANMET-MMSL?

    CANMET-MMSL's CRMs are chemically characterized Canadian ores, geochemical materials (rocks and soils), mineral processing products and radioactive materials. The majority of the CCRMP reference materials are prepared for use in analytical laboratories associated with mining, metallurgy and the environment. Such materials include ores or host rock, mineral concentrates and waste products (such as a blast furnace slag and a dust sample collected by an electrostatic precipitator) and geochemical materials characterized for elements of environmental interest. Other CRMs available through CCRMP are lake and stream sediments, soils, materials containing precious metals, syenite and gabbro rocks, and iron formation rocks.

  • Is there an MSDS (material safety data sheet) for this material?

    CCRMP does not supply MSDS sheets to clients since CCRMP materials are considered non-hazardous when purchased in consumer quantities if standard personal protection from dust is taken, as described in the certificate supplied with each purchase.

  • What is the difference between Certified, Provisional and Informational values?

    All concentration values are derived from an interlaboratory measurement program. Samples are sent to many laboratories, typically twenty to forty, and the results are analyzed statistically to determine the mean and other statistical parameters.

    • Certified: The value is calculated from a minimum of 10 sets of data that fulfill specific statistical criteria regarding agreement.
    • Provisional: The value is calculated from 8 or 9 sets of data that fulfill specific statistical criteria regarding agreement; or alternatively, more than 9 sets of data that do not fulfill the specific statistical criteria required for certification.
    • Informational: The value is calculated from 7 or fewer sets of data.
  • What quality procedures are used in the preparation of the materials?

    CCRMP materials are prepared in consideration of ISO Guides 30, 31, 33, 34 and 35.

  • What are other uses for certified reference materials available through CCRMP?

    CANMET-MMSL's CRMs were primarily intended for the Canadian minerals industry since they are all of Canadian origin. Despite this, 50% of sales are now made to organizations outside Canada. Moreover, the percentage of CCRMP reference materials sold to organizations outside the minerals industry is on the rise due to growing concern for the environment and the trend towards third-party accreditation, such as ISO Guide 17025 quality standards.

  • What are NRCan's terms of credit?

    • The payment period is 30 days following the date of the invoice.
    • If payment is not received within the thirty (30) days following the date on the invoice, the debt is considered overdue and interest will accrue starting on the 31st day.
    • The prescribed rate of interest for any month will be the aggregate of 3% per annum and the per annum Bank of Canada rate in effect on the third week of the month preceding the month in which interest is computed.
    • Credit privileges are cancelled when a customer's account is 90 days overdue.
    • NRCan reserves the right to change the above terms of credit on a customer's overdue account.
  • How can I order CCRMP reference materials?

    How can I order CCRMP reference materials?

    To find out more about how CRMs can help you improve the reliability of your analytical measurements, please contact CanmetMINING.