New Found turns to PhotonAssay tech
Ships Queensway samples to Perth for faster, accurate assays Metal Tech News – November 10, 2021
Last updated 11/23/2021 at 3:41pm
Looking for speedier and more accurate assays from drilling at its Queensway gold project in Newfoundland, New Found Gold Corp. is shipping its samples to Australia for analysis with Chrysos Corp.'s PhotonAssay technology.
While shipping samples all the way from eastern Canada to Western Australia may not seem like the fastest way to get results back from drilling, the backlog at assay laboratories in North America this year has mineral exploration companies waiting months to find out how much metal is in the samples they send in.
"With the current large backlog of samples and resulting slow turnaround times for conventional assaying in North America, even with the additional transport time required to ship samples to Perth we believe that proceeding with Chrysos PhotonAssay analysis at these facilities in Perth will significantly shorten our turnaround time on assays," said New Found Gold Vice President of Exploration Melissa Render. "This will provide faster receipt of critical information to our exploration team and will allow more timely disclosure of drill results to the market."
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.
Intertek, a global leader in quality assurance, recently installed two Chrysos PhotonAssay units in its new Minerals Global Centre of Excellence in Perth, Australia.
This state-of-the-art laboratory, which opened in July, consolidates Intertek's minerals operations into a single 19,000-square-meter (204,500 square feet) building and house more than 500 employees.
Australian gold miner, Novo Resources Corp., has signed a multi-year deal for priority access to Intertek's new PhotonAssay units, which are considered ideal for analyzing the nuggety gold-bearing conglomerates at Novo's Beatons Creek paleoplacer project in Western Australia.
New Found believes that PhotonAssay could offer more accurate analysis of samples from Queensway due to the "nugget-effect" caused by the abundant visible gold encountered in the high-grade zones.
A recent analysis by an independent consultant found that traditional assay techniques returned lower grade results, particularly in the higher-grade samples.
To help overcome this problem, New Found has decided to submit whole core samples instead of half cores. While this solution helps to ensure more accurate sampling, it does not leave any core left for further analysis when using traditional assay techniques.
PhotonAssay, however, does not destroy the samples, making it particularly well-suited for New Found's needs.
"Recognizing the nuggety nature of gold mineralization at Queensway, the use of non-destructive, Chrysos PhotonAssay method on whole-core samples will contribute significantly to optimizing the accuracy of our assay results," said Render.
Novo Resources, which happens to be a significant New Gold shareholder, has set aside some of its PhotonAssay time at Intertek's Minerals Global Centre of Excellence for Queensway core.
New Found said it plans to send the first shipment of Queensway to the Perth facility in the coming week, including intervals from recent drilling that were previously designated for conventional assay on a rush basis.
"We are very pleased to be proceeding promptly with utilizing the Chrysos PhotonAssay method to assay drill core from our Queensway project," said Render. "We would like to thank Novo Resources Corp. for facilitating swift access for us to the Intertek Chrysos PhotonAssay facilities."
Chrysos' PhotonAssay technique is rapidly gaining industry-wide acceptance.
Barrick, in partnership with MSALABS, recently installed a PhotonAssay unit at its Bulyanhulu Mine in Tanzania, and Kirkland Lake Gold recently installed a unit at its Fosterville Mine in Australia.
New Found says it is advancing towards an agreement with MSALABS for 20,000 assays per month at a new PhotonAssay facility being built in Val d'Or, Quebec.
The gold exploration company is also working in talks with MSALABS for the installation of a PhotonAssay unit near its Queensway project in Newfoundland next year.
"We are very excited to be moving ahead and implementing the Chrysos PhotonAssay assay process for our Queensway project and we look forward to reporting our first assay results from recent drilling in the next several weeks," said Render.
More information on Chrysos PhotonAssay can be found at PhotonAssay analyzes over 1M samples in the June 16, 2021 edition of Metal Tech News.