MSK’s quality policy calls for participating in various interlab testing programs for all the commodities analysed. The Central Lab is already participating in numerous such proficiency test (PT) programs without which quality of the lab results from repeatability and reproducibility aspects can never be assured. MSK has also enrolled in the CSIRO program for PT of iron ore. CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organization) is Australia’s national science agency. The CSIRP Proficiency Test is a quality assurance program for iron ore and more than 25 laboratories participate in it.

The elements covered in the CSIRO PT program are: Fe, SiO2, CaO, Mn, Al2O3, TiO2, MgO, P, S, K2O, Sn, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Pb, Ba, Sr, Zr, Na2O, Cl, Total Sulphur, Total Carbon and Loss on Ignition.

A typical proficiency test program works like this : results are forwarded to the program coordinator, where these are collated and summarised. All data from various participating laboratories are subjected to a statistical test in accordance and such data excluded which have high within lab error or large laboratory bias from the mean of all results. The mean, overall within-laboratory error and overall between-laboratory error are then calculated, and the graphs plotted as deviations from the mean value. Regular participation in PT programs has helped MSK reduce the uncertainty of measurement of its test results.