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.