Tag Archives: Novo Resources

Chrysos Corp’s PhotonAssay tech hits major milestone

Chrysos Corp has announced that its ground-breaking PhotonAssay technology has now assayed over one million customer samples.

The milestone comes amid accelerating demand for the technology, which has seen the number of samples analysed more than triple in the last six months, the Australia-based company said.

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.

Chrysos CEO, Dirk Treasure, explained, “Demand for PhotonAssay has grown over the last year and further accelerated in the last six months as more miners and laboratories have reached the conclusion, through their own due diligence, that PhotonAssay not just meets and exceeds their accuracy and cost requirements, but also overcomes the speed, safety, and environmental challenges inherent in fire assay.”

Recently, Chrysos and Intertek declared a deal to install two PhotonAssay units at Intertek’s new Minerals Global Centre of Excellence in Perth, Western Australia. Chrysos also announced a partnership with MSALABS, a subsidiary of Capital Ltd, to deploy at least six PhotonAssay units across the globe over an 18-month period. Prior to that, the company signed a deal enabling Kirkland Lake Gold to use PhotonAssay for its Fosterville Mine in Bendigo, Victoria.

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.

“The significance of the technology’s ability to analyse large sample sizes is underlined by Novo Resources’ recent announcement that it has signed a multi-year deal for priority access to the two new PhotonAssay units being installed at Intertek’s Centre of Excellence,” Chrysos said. “In finalising the agreement, Novo signalled its belief that PhotonAssay is the ideal technique for analysing the nuggety gold mineralisation at its Beatons Creek operation in Western Australia.”

Dr James Tickner, Chrysos Corp Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, agreed: “Accurate assaying for coarse gold has always been a challenge, and it’s on difficult deposits where the much larger sample mass of PhotonAssay really delivers. It’s great to see industry recognising this, with Novo Resources committing to run at least 20,000 samples per month through each unit at Intertek’s brand-new facility in Perth. The two PhotonAssay units we’ve just commissioned there will really help Intertek deliver faster, cleaner and more accurate results, not just for Novo, but its other customers as well.”

Another factor driving fast adoption of the technology is Chrysos’ commercial and operating model whereby the company leases, rather than sells, its PhotonAssay units to customers, the company says. This approach not only minimises expenditure by relieving the customer of capital expenditure charges and any service, delivery and maintenance fees, but also reduces ongoing staffing, training and related occupational health, safety and environmental costs.

In return, the leasing model facilitates a recurring revenue stream for Chrysos, which the company has used for research and development and the overall broadening of applicability and accessibility of PhotonAssay for wet samples and other metals such as silver and copper, it says.

Reviewing recent successes and foreshadowing upcoming events, Treasure summarised, “Even with more than A$80 million ($62 million) in contracted revenue and 14 PhotonAssay units either in-use or committed, we remain focused on executing our smart, sustainable growth plans. Market feedback indicates that our disruptive technology is helping customers achieve faster, safer and cleaner business outcomes ‒ and that is the type of value creation Chrysos finds compelling.

“Ultimately, we want our customers, shareholders and community stakeholders to feel as much pride using and engaging with PhotonAssay, as we do when we create and deliver it across the globe.”

Novo Resources to take Steinert ore sorter into the field

Novo Resources says it is in advanced discussions with Steinert Australia to procure a 1 m wide KSS 100F LIXT fine mechanical sorting unit, to be deployed at its wholly-owned Purdy’s Reward and Comet Well JV gold projects, in Western Australia, during the 2020 field season.

The sorter will be manufactured by Steinert in Germany with an expected 18-week delivery time to Australia, Novo said.

Approvals are being prepared for field testing of up to 10,000 t of material from Purdy’s Reward, Comet Well, and 47K, respectively (total up to 30,000 t). Novo also plans to utilize this sorter to test field exploration samples delivered from its other projects including Egina, it said.

Field test work will be designed to better understand gold grades, the extent and location of mineralised conglomerate units, evaluate mechanical sorter gold recovery at production throughput rates and of various sorted size fractions, and provide critical input concerning operational costs, the company explained.

The company has previously carried out ore sorting test work in the lab on samples from its Reward and Comet Well JV gold projects.

Rob Humphryson, Novo’s CEO and a Director, said: “We have achieved outstanding laboratory level mechanical sorting test results utilising both Steinert and TOMRA sorters. It is now time to field test productivity and performance. This Steinert unit will be equipped with technology that is capable of testing material from all our coarse gold projects.”

Humphryson said the decision to initially deploy a Steinert unit into the field was more a reflection of “local, non-technical factors” than any distinct differentiation of capabilities between the two suppliers’ sorters.

He added: “Should field testing of mechanical sorting prove successful, it is likely that the final utilisation of this technology will involve a hybrid solution involving equipment from both suppliers. In light of this, we intend to maintain a close working relationship with both suppliers.”

Steinert ore sorting tech picks up the Beaton’s Creek gold fine print

Novo Resources says initial laboratory-scale tests using Steinert mechanical ore sorting technology indicates an upgrade of gold into significantly reduced mass is achievable at the Beaton’s Creek project in Western Australia.

The mechanical sorting tests carried out in Australia on the Beaton’s Creek bulk sample showed that nuggety gold occurring in Beaton’s Creek conglomerates is finer grained (generally sub 1 mm) than gold at Novo’s Egina and Karratha projects (generally over 1 mm), the company said. The company is also considering using ore sorting at these two projects.

Test work was conducted on a 2.8 t split of crushed (-50 mm) and screened Beaton’s Creek bulk sample material, with analyses conducted as part of this sorting test work generating a calculated head grade of 5.72 g/t Au for the bulk sample. The vast majority of gold reported to mechanically sorted concentrates in each of the three size fractions tested, with 90.2% of gold recovered in 54.5% of the mass of the +18/-50 mm fraction; 68.8% of gold recovered in 42.4% of the mass of the +6/-18 mm fraction; and 95.5% of gold recovered in 20.3% of the mass of the +2.3/-6 mm fraction.

Material finer than 2.3 mm, comprising 17% of the total mass of the bulk sample, was not tested due to excessive dust issues, the company said. “Novo believes such material is treatable by means of gravity concentration,” it added.

“Test results are considered indicative, and Novo and Steinert see additional opportunity to optimise sorting conditions and parameters that may result in further efficiencies,” the company said. “Nevertheless, these tests indicate robust potential for upgrading nuggety conglomerate gold mineralisation, and perhaps, a broader spectrum of gold mineralisation types.”

A second 2.8 t split of the same bulk sample material has been delivered to TOMRA Sorting’s mechanical sorting test facility in Castle Hill, New South Wales, where it will soon undergo similar testing using various TOMRA mechanical sorters, the company said.

Rob Humphryson, CEO and Director of Novo Resources, said: “We are highly encouraged by these initial results. We are already fully confident about the outcome of Egina mechanical sorting test work, which demonstrated excellent recoveries into very small concentrates. Our Beaton’s Creek test work is more investigative in nature owing to the finer gold grain size, so to achieve such levels of upgrade in first phase testing is remarkable.”

He added: “Test work is being developed and supervised by Novo staff specialising in mining engineering, metallurgical processing, and importantly, our geology team. This means those people engaged in exploration are fully aware of the profound impact that mechanical sorting potentially imparts on the economic viability of our prospects. Mechanical sorting test work is likely to become an integral part of future exploration and economic modelling as we hopefully progress each of our projects towards production should the economic viability and technical feasibility of the project be established.”

Novo heralds ore sorting developments as it lines up Steinert and TOMRA trials

Novo Resources Corp says it is planning mechanical sorting test work on multi-tonne samples of gold-bearing conglomerate from its Beatons Creek project (pictured) and gold-bearing gravels from its Egina project, both in Australia, with Steinert Global and TOMRA.

Mechanical sorting of small particles of gold is seen as a potentially important breakthrough for Novo and its various nuggety gold projects throughout its large land holdings across the Pilbara, the company said.

An approximate 5 t sample of Beatons Creek gold-bearing conglomerate and an a similar sized sample of Egina gold-bearing gravel have been shipped to Perth for sorting trials at Steinert Global’s test facility in December. Conglomerate from Beatons Creek is being crushed and screened, and gravel from Egina is being screened in preparation for test work.

Once mechanical sorting tests have been completed at Steinert Global, bulk test material will be shipped to TOMRA’s test facility in Sydney for testing during the March quarter of 2020, Novo said.

Novo, earlier this month, said recent tests of Steinert mechanical sorting equipment had demonstrated recovery of fine gold nuggets as small as 0.4 mm, which was a significant step toward a potentially cost-effective “dry and chemical free” means of gold recovery.

The test work is designed to assess the veracity of recent advances in scanning and sorting capabilities of both companies, while determining – on Egina material, at least – the gold recovery capabilities of this technology as a means of primary separation; the applicability of mechanical sorting as a tool to support field exploration activities; and which model of mechanical sorter is preferred for deployment for field trials.

“Owing to recent rapid advancements in mechanical sorting technology, Novo has conceptualised a potentially viable alternative ‘dry’ processing pathway for Beatons Creek,” it said.

While testing is required to better assess sorter manufacturer claims that fine gold particles can be detected and sorted, according to Novo, the company said it sees considerable merit in this ‘dry’ processing model for the following reasons:

  • Potential to significantly reduce capital and operating costs compared to conventional ‘wet’ processing schemes;
  • Potential to reduce construction timeframe compared to conventional ‘wet’ processing;
  • ‘Dry’ processing schemes might be amenable to modular design suited to cost-effective mobilisation and relocation;
  • Negates or minimises use of water and chemicals; and
  • ‘Dry’ processing could help unlock Novo’s other assets in the East Pilbara region.

Successful mechanical sorter trials of Beatons Creek material are anticipated to lead to a larger metallurgical test work program to fully assess means of crushing, screening and sorting to be incorporated to a process flowsheet, the company said, adding that it foresees using proven technologies given there is a spectrum of commercially available equipment for dry crushing, grinding and screening.

Rob Humphryson, CEO and director of Novo Resources Corp, said: “The pace of development of mechanical sorting technology continues to astound us. We are fortunate that our nuggety gold deposits appear to lend themselves to ‘dry’ processing pathways involving mechanical sorters, technology that may generate favourable economic and environmental outcomes.

“Considering we can readily access outcropping gold mineralisation on all of our properties, we have a unique opportunity to quickly collect bulk samples for testing mechanical sorting technology on a meaningful scale.”

Novo looks to scrap metal industry for Egina gold nugget separation options

Novo Resources says it has completed encouraging processing trials on gravels extracted from its joint venture Egina gold project, in the Pilbara of Western Australia, at Steinert’s testing facility in Cologne, Germany.

Phase one of the company’s joint venture with Sumitomo Corp at the Egina gold project centres around gaining a better understanding of geology (grade, continuity, controls, gold particle size distribution, gold location within gravels, gold genesis, etc.) but also involves high level desktop studies and trials to develop potential future processing and mining methodologies.

Preliminary tests of eddy current separator (ECS) technology indicate promising potential to directly extract gold nuggets from gravel, the company said. This is one of several dry processing methodologies being considered by Novo for gold recovery at the project.

Tests conducted on a spectrum of nugget sizes ranging from 1-10 mm demonstrated consistently high gold nugget recovery via ECS technology. Nuggets that underwent testing were recently extracted from gravels at Egina, the company said.

ECSs are predominantly used to recover select metals in the scrap metal industry. Material is fed onto a conveyor, the head pulley of which contains an adjustable high-powered magnet spinning at very high rotation rates, 4,000 rpm in Novo’s tests, independent of the speed of the conveyor, Novo said. This spinning magnet induces an alternating magnetic field that differentially repels non-magnetic metals such as gold.

This magnetic repulsion causes gold nuggets to lift, or fling, off the end of the conveyor belt where they can be separated from waste material by a steel plate. These trials were designed to establish whether Egina gold nuggets react sufficiently to reliably be separated from waste material.

Novo said: “Gold at Egina predominantly occurs as free nuggets of which most are above 1 mm in size. This presents opportunity to explore innovative technologies, some used commercially in other applications such as ECS technology, to assess their efficacy for use at the Egina gold project.”

In addition to ECS technology, Novo conducted initial testing of Steinert mechanical sorting technology to detect small gold nuggets utilising an Argos EM electro-magnetic sensor, it said. Fine gold nuggets, around 1 mm, were consistently and readily detected indicating potential for direct mechanical sorting of gold nuggets, Novo said.

As a result, a combination of mechanical sorting and ECS technology is also being considered as a potentially viable means of dry processing at Egina, the company said.

Rob Humphryson, CEO and Director of Novo, said: “We are very encouraged by these initial laboratory test results utilising ECS technology. Our mantra when testing new technology and its application to our projects is to ‘test quickly and test cheaply’, and we now have in hand sufficient encouragement from these tests to consider ECS technology highly prospective for application in the field.”

The company said this preliminary testing shows ECS technology can play an important role at Egina, with potential application as a processing solution or an exploration tool, or both. “This technology generates significant inherent advantages: it requires no water, no chemicals, is of low capital cost and is readily mobile. It can also be employed along with other technologies and is scalable,” the company said.

Novo thinks field tests are warranted at larger scale to better understand recovery efficiencies, operating costs and throughput rates and the Company plans further work with Steinert to study schemes in which ECS machines, or ECS machines in combination with mechanical sorting technology, can achieve efficient recovery of gold nuggets at Egina.

The company concluded: “As Novo learns more about gold size particle and mass distribution of gold in Egina gravels, the company can then begin to estimate gold recovery.”

TOMRA upgrades bulk samples at Novo’s Karratha gold project

Novo Resources has announced gold-rich assay results from concentrates generated by mechanical sorting trials conducted on four bulk samples from its Karratha gold project in Western Australia.

In order to test the potential viability of mechanical rock sorting as a means of concentrating gold from conglomerates at Karratha, four bulk samples were collected, crushed, screened and tested using a TOMRA mechanical rock sorter. High-grade assays from sorted rock concentrates have provided a first indication that this technique is effective at upgrading gold into small volume concentrates.

Mechanical sorting was conducted on material ranging from 6 to 63 mm. Fractions larger than 63 mm and finer than 6 mm are currently undergoing assaying and, once all analyses have returned, an assessment of the effectiveness of mechanical rock sorting will be made, Novo said.

Mechanical rock sorted concentrates range from 0.07-0.48% of total sample mass, a remarkably small fraction. Given the high-grade assays of these concentrates, ranging from 92.1-792.4 g/t Au, it appears gold is being significantly upgraded by mechanical rock sorting, the company added.

“Optimising crushing to reduce volumes of fines and oversize, effectively maximising the amount of material being sorted, should further improve the potential of this technology,” Novo said, adding that mechanical sorting technology could be a critical component of the Karratha gold project moving forward.

Rob Humphryson, CEO and Director of the company, said: “Concentrate grades received from the recent TOMRA mechanical rock sorting trials are impressive, reflecting the capability of the scanning and sorting technology to differentially select gold bearing rock.

“Total system gold recovery efficiency will be fully understood upon receipt of assay results from all process streams and feed size ranges, with these results expected during January 2019.”