Tag Archives: Chrysos PhotonAssay

PhotonAssay tech set for Western Africa debut with MSALABS agreement at Morila

Chrysos’ PhotonAssay technology is set to make a debut in the Western Africa market after Capital Ltd’s MSALABS signed a provisional five-year agreement with Societe Des Mines De Morila SA at the Morila gold mine in Mali.

The mine, which has an existing drilling contract with Capital Ltd, is 80%-owned by Firefinch. The ASX-listed company acquired the mine in November 2020 with the view to increase production at the 4.5 Mt/y mill from a current annual production profile of 40,000 oz/y of gold from tailings treatment, towards a target of 70,000-90,000 oz/y of gold through mining of small open pits, stocks and tailings from mid-2021. In 2022, Firefinch plans to increase production to 150,000-200,000 oz/y by re-commencing mining from the main Morila pit.

The contract, which remains subject to final terms and conditions, could see the first PhotonAssay arrive on site before the end of the year. This would be the first Chrysos unit to be deployed in Western Africa, according to Capital.

This news came out in the release of the company’s interim results, which outlined a 51.6% year-on-year boost in revenue to $98.7 million and a 238.6% boost in adjusted profit to $12.7 million.

MSALABS also has a PhotonAssay contract in place with Barrick Gold at the Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania, which could see the deployment of at least six PhotonAssay units.

Capital said the initial Chrysos unit had arrived in Tanzania and was in transit to the Bulyanhulu laboratory, with commissioning anticipated imminently, with the Chrysos team now on site.

An additional Chrysos unit secured for Canada was scheduled for arrival in Val d’Or, Quebec, in the December quarter, representing an expansion of MSALABS’ presence in the country and entry into the prolific Abitibi Belt. Capital Ltd said offtake discussions are well advanced for the unit’s capacity.

Capital Ltd Executive Chairman, Jamie Boyton, said of the Photon Assay tech: “Chrysos has the potential to disrupt the geochemical analysis sector and we are encouraged by the demand we see as we prepare to roll out the second unit in Val d’Or in Quebec, Canada, in the December quarter of this year, and the third at Morila in Mali soon thereafter.”

Driven in part by increasing industry focus on safety, sustainability and sample turnaround time, Chrysos PhotonAssay is competing with the centuries-old fire assay process in the gold assaying market. Chrysos says the technology, which originated out of a CSIRO project, is fast taking over fire assay to be the preferred technology of miners and laboratories seeking a solution to the supply chain and environmental challenges created by traditional gold assaying methods.

Hitting samples with high-energy X-rays, PhotonAssay causes excitation of atomic nuclei allowing enhanced analysis of gold, silver and complementary elements in as little as two minutes, Chrysos claims. Importantly, the non-destructive process allows large samples of up to 500 g to be measured and provides a “true” bulk reading independent of the chemical or physical form of the sample.

Capital bolsters Barrick Bulyanhulu work with laboratory, drilling contracts

Africa-focused mining services company, Capital, says it expanded its operations at Barrick Gold’s Bulyanhulu gold mine in Tanzania with the award of two new contracts for its drilling and geochemical laboratory services divisions.

The contracts include a five-year laboratory services contract for Capital’s MSALABS subsidiary, together with a two-year underground grade control drilling agreement.

Capital commenced operations at Bulyanhulu in February 2020, undertaking a complex deep hole delineation drilling program. The company’s execution of the program resulted in an expansion of services, with two underground rigs added to operations from May, it said. The new contract will expand the underground fleet at Bulyanhulu to four, using two rigs from the existing fleet and including the acquisition of a further two underground rigs.

MSALABS, meanwhile, will undertake initial laboratory design and deliver ongoing laboratory management and analysis services under the laboratory services contract. Analysis capabilities will include fire assay together with new Chrysos PhotonAssay technology that uses X-ray technology to determine the gold content of mineral ores more quickly and accurately than traditional methods.

The contract terms are expected to be finalised imminently for a five-year term, key personnel recruitment and training is now complete and initial commissioning processes are underway, Capital said, adding that the new contracts were scheduled to commence on December 1.

Stuart Thomson, MSALABS CEO, said: “We are excited to commence this new contract with Barrick to manage their on-site laboratory at the Bulyanhulu mine. The use of the ground-breaking new Chrysos PhotonAssay technology will significantly increase assay throughput at Bulyanhulu, while delivering a much faster sample turnaround time for Barrick.”

Capital’s Executive Chairman, Jamie Boyton, said: “We are very pleased to be expanding our services at the Bulyanhulu Gold Mine and continue our valued relationship with Barrick. It is particularly pleasing that our team’s successful execution of the initial deep hole drilling program has contributed to this expansion and we are now delivering multiple services at the site.

“This aligns to Capital’s growth strategy of expanding services with existing customers at established mine sites, with the laboratory services contract to contribute to an increase in the company’s non-drilling revenues.”

Chrysos PhotonAssay unit delivered to Kirkland Lake’s Fosterville gold mine

Kirkland Lake Gold is to install a Chrysos PhotonAssay unit at its Fosterville mine, in Victoria, Australia, as it looks to simplify, speed up and improve its mineral assaying process.

The agreement with Chrysos has seen the unit delivered to Fosterville, with the installation to be fully operational by early October.

Originally developed at Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, PhotonAssay delivers faster, more accurate gold analysis, Chrysos says, being a quantitative, chemistry-free replacement for fire assay on-site and in the laboratory.

“Hitting samples with high-energy X-rays, the technology causes excitation of atomic nuclei allowing enhanced analysis of gold, silver, and complementary elements in as little as two minutes,” the company says. “Importantly, Chrysos PhotonAssay allows large samples of up to 500 g to be measured and provides a true bulk reading independent of the chemical or physical form of the sample. The process is completely non-destructive, and all samples can be retained for further testing or analysis if required.”

Wess Edgar, Chief Geologist for Kirkland Lake Gold in Australia, said: “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.

“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.”

Fosterville is one of the highest grade gold mines operating across the industry, having produced 619,000 oz in 2019 at an average grade of 39.6 g/t.

PhotonAssay’s latest market success has drawn a positive response from CSIRO’s Chief Executive, Dr Larry Marshall, according to Chrysos.

“It’s very rewarding to have a global leader like Kirkland Lake embrace this new Aussie technology, which sees our research continuing to improve the efficiency and environmental sustainability of the industry around the world,” Dr Marshall said.

Highlighting the benefits of PhotonAssay for miners, Chrysos CEO, Dirk Treasure, stated: “Our PhotonAssay installations provide single-touch operation and improved safety outcomes, whilst also reducing labour requirements and the potential for human error. The technology’s fast turnaround on high sample volumes provides customers with time-critical operational data and drives optimisation through their entire value chain.

“We are seeing increasing interest in Chrysos PhotonAssay from both laboratories and miners. Recent developments across the 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.”

On Site Laboratory Services, a company based in Bendigo, will staff and operate the unit at Fosterville on behalf of Kirkland Lake Gold, Chrysos said.