Flor de María Harp

The Oaxaca Experimental Center, an experimental laboratory for mining and metallurgy under SGM’s supervision, outperformed 202 other laboratories in over 49 countries according to Geostats PTY annual survey, released this week. The Mexican facility provided a highly accurate gold sampling.


The Australian consultancy for certified reference materials specializes in laboratory quality controls. Its aptitude tests evaluate the proficiency, accuracy and reliability of mineral sampling around the world. The participating labs evaluate the same sample and are rated according to its proximity to the real mineral composition.

Up to 2010, the top labs were located in the US, Australia or Russia. Mexico had managed to reach the Top 10 before, buoyed by the certification of several labs with the ISO 17025 norm for professional and personal technical competences.

But in 2018, a team lead by Flor de María Harp made history for Mexican mineral laboratories by achieving a gold analysis as close to excellence as it can get. The achievement is particularly impressive given the low-cost equipment and technique used.

SGM’s laboratories aim to become a role model and foster other Mexican laboratories to comply with international standards and gain international validity. “We realized that testing with standard methodology was enough to make it to the Top 10 but not to reach first place,” said Harp. “This time we did things differently, with an adjusted analysis that re-analyzed the sample residues (scoria) and the containers used in the several tests (crucibles and cupels), extracting all the possible information from each.”

Harp, with over 24 years of experience in SGM, is convinced that Mexican mining is increasingly impacted by globalization and so, it must comply with international standards. “Mexican mining is ever more global with over 200 foreign companies operating in the country, including Canadian, US, Chinese, UK, Korean and Spanish among many others,” she said. “We need to offer world-class mining and metallurgic services and ensure our analysis is recognized worldwide.”



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