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By Shane Lasley
Metal Tech News 

Major endorsement of PhotonAssay tech

Metal Tech News - November 1, 2023


Last updated 11/8/2023 at 9:23pm

Labeled sample jars on a conveyor are fed into a PhotonAssay analysis unit.

Chrysos Corporation

Chrysos PhotonAssay uses high-energy X-ray to excite atomic nuclei for safe and accurate analysis of gold, silver, copper, and complementary elements in as little as two minutes.

Barrick puts in an order for up to 13 PhotonAssay units to be installed at its gold mines on four continents.

In a major endorsement of Chrysos Corp.'s PhotonAssay as a faster, safer, and more accurate technology for gold analysis, Barrick Gold Corp. is ordering up to 13 new units for delivery to its mine sites on four continents.

"Barrick's global adoption of our technology is a watershed moment for us, underlining PhotonAssay's superiority to outdated and hazardous fire assay methods," said Chrysos Managing Director and CEO Dirk Treasure.

A relatively new mineral sample analysis technology developed and commercialized in Australia, PhotonAssay uses high-energy X-ray to excite atomic nuclei for the enhanced analysis of gold, silver, copper, and complementary elements in as little as two minutes.

In addition to being much faster than fire assay, this 21st-century tech is less labor-intensive, safer, and is better for the environment than the sample melting process that has been the mainstay mineral analysis method for more than 5,000 years.

As an early adopter of PhotonAssay, Barrick has firsthand experience of the advantages of this technology for metals analysis at mine sites and in independent laboratories.

In a three-way partnership with Chrysos and MSALABS, a global provider of geochemical laboratory services for the exploration and mining sectors, Barrick had PhotonAssay units installed at its Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania and Kibali operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2021.

"MSALABS' holistic approach including design, construction and process components has resulted in seamless transitions from fire assay to PhotonAssay at Bulyanhulu and Kibali," said MSALABS CEO Stuart Thomson. "Development has continued with copper assaying and innovations in sample logistics and robotics, extending the capability, safety and productivity of the entire system."

Impressed with the technology delivered by Chrysos and the execution by MSALABS, Barrick is having three more PhotonAssay units installed at the Nevada Gold Mines complex.

A joint venture between Barrick (61.5%) and Newmont Corp. (38.5%), the world's two largest gold mining companies, Nevada Gold Mines is a complex of 10 underground and 12 surface mines that produce more than 3 million ounces of gold, 1 million oz of silver, and 31 million pounds of copper per year.

Hands hold an open container filled with crushed rock ready for gold analysis.

Chrysos Corporation

Samples are ground and put into uniquely numbered jars for assaying. The samples are not destroyed by the PhotonAssay process, making them available for further analysis.

Barrick is also looking at installing 10 additional PhotonAssay units at other projects by the end of 2025.

"PhotonAssay has already been delivering faster, safer, more accurate and environmentally-friendly analysis to our African operations, so we are more than pleased to broaden the partnership with Chrysos and MSALABS to take advantage of this innovative technology in our global operations," said Barrick Gold Mineral Resource Management and Evaluations Executive Simon Bottoms.

Having the single largest gold-producing complex in the world dousing fire in favor of PhotonAssay is a major endorsement of Chrysos and its innovative metals analysis tech.

"Together with the team at MSALABS, we look forward to bringing the same operational and environmental benefits being delivered at Bulyanhulu and Kibali in Africa to more of Barrick's gold mines," said Treasure.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News

With more than 15 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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