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By Shane Lasley
Metal Tech News 

PhotonAssay analyzes over 1M samples

New gold assay tech rapidly putting the heat on fire process Metal Tech News – June 16, 2021


Last updated 6/15/2021 at 3pm

Chrysos PhotonAssay CSIRO X-ray gold analysis Australia Intertek MSALABS

Chrysos Corp.

PhotonAssay is considered a faster, safer, and more environmentally sound means of analyzing samples for gold.

Safer, faster, more accurate and environmentally sound than the centuries-old fire assay process, Chrysos Corp.'s PhotonAssay is rapidly becoming the gold assay technology of choice at mines and laboratories around the globe. As a testament to its rise to prominence, the number of samples analyzed with this ground-breaking technology has now topped 1 million.

"Demand for PhotonAssay has grown over the last year and further accelerated in the last six months as more miners and laboratories have reached the conclusion, through their own due diligence, that PhotonAssay not just meets and exceeds their accuracy and cost requirements, but also overcomes the speed, safety, and environmental challenges inherent in fire assay," said Chrysos CEO Dirk Treasure.

Developed at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), PhotonAssay uses high-energy X-rays to excite atomic nuclei allowing enhanced analysis of gold in as little as two minutes.

This offers rapid gold analysis at the mine site or lab without the need for the multiple steps of traditional fire assays. And the sample is not destroyed in the process, making it available for future analysis, if needed.

As this technology becomes more widely known and understood, more companies are making the switch from fire assays. Chrysos reports that the number of samples analyzed has more than tripled over the past six months.

And with some of the world's top miners and assay providers putting orders in, this growth is expected to continue.

Intertek, a global leader in quality assurance, recently put in an order for two Chrysos PhotonAssay units to be installed at its new Minerals Global Centre of Excellence in Perth, Australia.

Scheduled to open in July, this state-of-the-art laboratory will consolidate Intertek's minerals operations into a single 19,000-square-meter (204,500 square feet) building and house more than 500 employees.

Having the PhotonAssay units in place at the opening helps to ensure the facility delivers cutting-edge precious metals assay technology to its mining and mineral exploration clients.

"Intertek continually evaluates new innovations to deliver customer value. In that vein, we feel our partnership with Chrysos is more than a simple investment in faster, cleaner operations; we see it as a social and environmental commitment to our customers and the broader global industry," said Fowler.

Australian gold miner Novo Resources Corp. has signed a multi-year deal for priority access to the two new PhotonAssay units being installed at Intertek's Centre of Excellence. One reason for making a quick leap to ensure it is in the front of the line is the belief that PhotonAssay is the ideal technique for analyzing the nuggety gold-bearing conglomerates at its Beatons Creek paleoplacer project in Western Australia.

The PhotonAssay machines can measures samples as large as 500 grams, offering a true bulk reading independent of the chemical or physical form of the sample.

"Accurate assaying for coarse gold has always been a challenge, and it's on difficult deposits where the much larger sample mass of PhotonAssay really delivers," said Chrysos Chief Technology Officer James Tickner. "It's great to see industry recognizing this, with Novo Resources committing to run at least 20,000 samples per month through each unit at Intertek's brand-new facility in Perth. The two PhotonAssay units we've just commissioned there will really help Intertek deliver faster, cleaner, and more accurate results, not just for Novo, but its other customers as well."

Intertek is not the only global assay service provider that is embracing the value offered by Chrysos PhotonAssay.

Minerals Global Centre of Excellence Nova Resources Barrick Gold Dirk Treasure

Chrysos Corp.

Samples are ground and put into uniquely identified containers. These samples are not destroyed by the gold assay process, making them available for further analysis.

MSALABS, a global provider of geochemical laboratory services for the exploration and mining sectors, plans to deploy at least six of these units at Barrick Gold Corp. mines over the next 18 months. The first will be installed at Barrick's Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania, followed by three more units in Africa and two in Canada by mid-2022.

Rather than sell its PhotonAssay machines, Chrysos is leasing them to customers, a strategy that is helping to facilitate the adoption of this technology by reducing capital costs, as well as training and staffing challenges by the customer.

For its part, this business model provides Chrysos with a recurring revenue stream to research and develop PhotonAssay technology for wet samples, as well as other metals such as silver and copper.

"Even with more than A$80 million in contracted revenue and 14 PhotonAssay units either in-use or committed, we remain focused on executing our smart, sustainable growth plans," said Treasure. "Market feedback indicates that our disruptive technology is helping customers achieve faster, safer, and cleaner business outcomes – and that is the type of value creation Chrysos finds compelling."

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News

With more than 14 years of covering mining, Shane is renowned for his insights and and in-depth analysis of mining, mineral exploration and technology metals.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 907-726-1095


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