Tag Archives: Jamie Boyton

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 receives underground drilling boost at AngloGold’s Geita mine

Mining service company Capital has been awarded two new three-year contracts at AngloGold Ashanti’s Geita gold mine in Tanzania.

Included in these contracts is the continuation of surface delineation and open-pit grade control drilling services, plus underground grade control and delineation drilling, with an expanded scope for underground drilling activities.

The award, Capital says, is subject to final contract execution and relevant government approvals. Both contracts are due to commence on April 1 and are anticipated to generate revenues of $65 million over the contract term.

The underground contract will use nine rigs, including five from the existing fleet together with an additional four new rigs, which have been secured and are currently in transit to the site. The surface delineation contract will use the existing fleet of five rigs.

Capital has been providing drilling services at Geita since 2006.

Jamie Boyton, Executive Chairman, said: “The awarding of the contracts at the Geita Gold Mine maintains our long-standing relationship with AngloGold Ashanti and is in line with our strategy of focusing on long-term mine site contracts with premier clients, underpinning the sustainability of our business. The contracts, which have been expanded from the previous contracts, reflect the Capital team’s excellent operational performance in safely delivering drilling services at the site since 2006.”

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.”

Capital Drilling expands into heavy mining equipment services sector

Capital Drilling says it has signed binding agreements with Allied Gold Corp for the provision of a full range of mining services to its Bonikro gold mine in Côte d’Ivoire.

Additionally, Capital Drilling has made a strategic investment of $3 million in Allied.

The contract represents the company’s first comprehensive mining services contract win, with Capital Drilling now able to provide load and haul services to its clients in addition to its existing drilling, maintenance and mineral analytic capabilities.

Bonikro is a producing gold mine in Côte d’Ivoire which commenced production in 2008 and was previously operated by Newcrest, prior to the sale of its majority interest to a consortium of F&M Gold Resources and the Africa Finance Corp, in December 2017, and the recent acquisition by Allied. It has historically produced over 1 Moz of gold. With existing in-pit resources of 1.17 Moz of gold, Allied expects to produce approximately 120,000 oz of gold in the coming 12 months, Capital Drilling said.

Under the agreements, which are in addition to the previously announced exploration drilling contract, Capital Drilling will provide a full range of mining services at Bonikro including drill and blast, load and haul, grade control dewatering.

Capital Drilling commenced a phased management oversight at the Bonikro site in July 2019 with a small team of personnel, followed by an expanded team in September.

The company recently attained management control of mining operations and is working closely with Allied’s management to refine the Bonikro mine plan, it said. “Once the mine plan has been confirmed, the parties intend that the agreements will transition in the first half of 2020 to a comprehensive schedule of rates contract, primarily linked to tonnes mined and moved (schedule of rates contract).

Subject to the agreement of the schedule of rates contract, it is intended that the initial term of the contract will be five years, with contract revenues subject to the confirmation of mine plans and the terms of the schedule of rates contract. It is anticipated that revenue for 2020 will be in the range of $25-$30 million, with activity primarily focussed on the existing Hiré pits before ramping up over the life of the contract.

The contract will initially utilise five production rigs (blast hole and grade control), including two from Capital Drilling’s existing fleet. Furthermore, Capital Drilling will assume management control of Bonikro’s heavy mining equipment (HME) fleet including 16 mining dump trucks, four mining shovels and other associated mining equipment, “providing the group with a unique opportunity to enter into a contract of this nature with modest immediate capital requirements”.

Capital Drilling says it has committed to supplement the existing HME fleet with additional equipment at its own cost, including one excavator, three bulldozers and auxiliary equipment to ensure that the contracted material movement is achieved.

“Together with the three new blast hole rigs to be acquired, near term capital commitments are expected to total approximately $8 million, apportioned between the drilling fleet ($4 million) and the ancillary earth moving equipment ($4 million).

Under the agreements, Capital Drilling assumes full responsibility for the on-going upkeep and maintenance of the HME fleet and will assess longer term capital requirements as the contract progresses, the company said.

Commenting on the contract win and strategic investment, Jamie Boyton, Executive Chairman of Capital Drilling, said: “We are excited to embark on this new phase for Capital Drilling and to commence our first comprehensive mining services contract. Load and haul operations are a natural extension to our existing world-class drilling and maintenance capabilities. It means we can now offer clients a completely integrated mining service from initial exploration drilling right through to extraction and delivery of ore to the mill. We will draw on the extensive experience of our team to successfully incorporate and deliver this new service.

“It is also pleasing to add another long-term contract to our existing portfolio of long term, mine-site based projects. Further to this, our strategic investment into Allied represents a transformational opportunity for Capital Drilling. It expands our revenue sources into less cyclical mine-site based activities, while being aligned to our growth strategy of building a superior portfolio of long-term contracts.

“Allied’s pipeline also presents substantial growth opportunities and we look forward to working closely with the company to deliver incremental operational and productivity improvements at the Bonikro site. We anticipate this strategic investment, together with the addition of load and haul services, will provide further long-term growth opportunities with projects in the production phase and greater revenue and earnings sustainability in the future.”