CSIRO technology provides safer gold analysis at Kirkland Lake

Fosterville seismic

Kirkland Lake Gold will install Chrysos PhotonAssay technology to provide faster, safer and more accurate gold analysis at the Fosterville mine in Victoria.

Australian company Chrysos offers in novel assay technology — Chrysos PhotonAssay — which was developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

The quantitative, chemistry-free solution replaces fire assaying by crushing an optionally-dry sample to two millimetres, which is then placed in a jar and analysed by the PhotonAssay to receive quantitative analysis in less than three minutes.

According to Chrysos chief executive Dirk Treasure, the PhotonAssay prevents labour requirements usually involved with fire assaying and boosts safety.

“Our PhotonAssay installations provide single-touch operation and improved safety outcomes, whilst also reducing labour requirements and the potential for human error,” he said.

“The technology’s fast turnaround on high sample volumes provides customers with time-critical operational data and drives optimisation through their entire value chain.”

“Recent developments across the (mining) sector are driving a desire for technological solutions that deliver measurable productivity gains and true competitive advantage. This is an exciting time, not just for us, but for the entire industry.”

Another benefit of Chrysos PhotonAssay is that it enables samples of up to 500 grams to be measured. It also allows for samples to be reused after testing.

“We believe the PhotonAssay method has potential benefits for our business that include simple sample preparation, fast turnaround times for high-quality results, and improved outcomes related to health, environment, and the community,” Kirkland Lake chief geologist Wess Edgar said.

“The sample charge used in the PhotonAssay method is approximately 10-20 times larger than existing fire assay, and thus has potential for a more representative assay result of the entire crushed sample, which is considered important for samples containing high gold grades and/or visible-gold, as are often found at Fosterville.”

The Fosterville mine delivered a production of 619,316 ounces last year and is the largest gold producer in Victoria.

“Chrysos was created because we saw a lot of potential for the mining industry in a nugget of Australian research, and by getting out of the lab and creating a prototype that Chrysos could take to market, CSIRO can reinvest gains from venture into the next generation of breakthroughs from science for Australian industries,” CSIRO chief executive doctor Larry Marshall said.

“It’s also rewarding to see this Aussie technology chosen by a global leader like Kirkland Lake, which will see our research improving the efficiency and environmental sustainability of the industry around the world.”

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