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Photon gold analyses revolutionising detection of unseen gold

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Global Mining Review,

The first photon assay system, a new technique for detecting and analysing unseen gold, is now operational at Ausdrill’s MinAnalytical facility in Perth, Australia, with two more systems to be established in the Kalgoorlie goldfields in the coming months.

Developed by Australia's national science agency CSIRO and brought to market by Chrysos Corp., photon gold analyses is a faster, safer and more environmentally-friendly alternative to the conventional fire assay technique for gold analysis.

Fully automated, it dramatically reduces the turnaround time on assays from days to minutes, providing critical data to miners on gold grades in near real-time to support operational decisions.

After recognising the technology’s potential, CSIRO Research Programme Director, Nick Cutmore, said they partnered with investors to create new Australian company Chrysos Corp. in late 2016 to bring it to market.

“We developed photon assay recognising the market need for innovative data solutions to drive better and faster decision making across the minerals value chain,” Cutmore said.

“The result is a technology export opportunity for Australia worth AUS$1 billion in gold mining alone, and a competitive edge for Australia’s mining industry on the global stage.”

As the world’s second largest gold producer, Australian industry will benefit from the opportunity to capture more value from mined resources, as well as increased operational efficiencies, revenue and productivity.

Ausdrill has longer term plans to take the innovation to Africa.

Chrysos CEO, Dirk Treasure, said that the company had a rapid growth plan and were well placed to disrupt the global gold analysis services market, offering near-real time, accurate analysis for the first time.

“With the first system now up and running at Ausdrill, we have successfully progressed the photon assay technology from concept through to a deployed product in just 16 months,” Treasure said.

“Our lease model has been well received by the industry, with photon assay technology benefits being delivered without any increase in operating or capital costs.”

The photon assay system will analyse at least 50 000 gold samples a month, at a similar cost to conventional methods. It can be applied to a range of other minerals, including silver and copper.

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Australian mining news Gold mining news Mining equipment news