Summary: The results of a study on the suitability of the inductively coupled plasma source spectrometer for the analysis of rocks and minerals are presented. The preparation of a stable solution of the elements to be measured is a prerequisite, and methods of sample preparation are described. It is shown that it is possible to measure all the major elements (excluding H2O and Fe2+) with acceptable precision and accuracy, and a wide range of trace elements down to the ppm level in the rock or mineral. Excluding sample preparation time, analysis and print-out of results as percent or ppm requires 1–2 minutes for complete analysis. Data on possible interferences (spectral line overlap etc.) are presented and, using some analyses of rocks and minerals comparisons are made with other analytical methods.