Ausdrill buys into photon assay detection tech

By on 29 May, 2018


Australian miner first to purchase CSIRO-developed gold-sensing technology, which combines a 500-year-old assaying technique with x-ray technology to drastically reduce assay times.

The new sensing technique has been brought to market by Chyros Corporation, and is now running at Ausdrill’s MinAnalytical facility in Perth, with two more deployments at Kalgoorlie goldfields in upcoming months, according to CSIRO.

CSIRO claims that the photon assay technology that they’ve developed is a ‘faster, safer and more environmentally-friendly alternative to the conventional fire assay technique for gold analysis, reducing assaying times from days to minutes.

CSIRO research program director Nick Cutmore said they partnered with investors to create new Australian company Chrysos Corporation in late 2016 to bring it to market.

“We developed photon assay recognising the market need for innovative data solutions to drive better and faster decision making across the minerals value chain,” Dr Cutmore said.

“The result is a technology export opportunity for Australia worth $1 billion in gold mining alone, and a competitive edge for Australia’s mining industry on the global stage.”

The fully-automated technique is based on a 500-year-old detection system that has been redefined with the application of powerful x-rays. The system will analyse a minimum of 50,000 gold samples per month, according to Chrysos CEO, Dick Treasure.

“With the first system now up and running at Ausdrill, we have successfully progressed the photon assay technology from concept through to a deployed product in just 16 months,” he said.

The photon assay system can also be applied to the detection of other minerals, including silver and copper.

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