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17 August 2020 Partner Release

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said CSIRO had increased its overall equity portfolio ten-fold in the last three years, with Australian company Chrysos growing its export revenue and returning over $5 million of their profits back to fund more breakthrough science, demonstrating the virtuous cycle of innovation.

"Chrysos was created because we saw a lot of potential for the mining industry in a nugget of Australian research, and by getting out of the lab and creating a prototype that Chrysos could take to market, CSIRO can reinvest gains from venture into the next generation of breakthroughs from science for Australian industries," Dr Marshall said.

"It's also rewarding to see this Aussie technology chosen by a global leader like Kirkland Lake, which will see our research improving the efficiency and environmental sustainability of the industry around the world."

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Delivering faster, more accurate gold analysis, Chrysos PhotonAssay is 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.

Importantly, Chrysos PhotonAssay allows large samples of up to 500g 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, summarised his company's enthusiasm for the new Chrysos installation. "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."

In relation to the advantages of Chrysos PhotonAssay over traditional assay methods, Mr Edgar continued, "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."

Originally developed at Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, PhotonAssay's latest market success has drawn a positive response from CSIRO's Chief Executive, Dr Larry Marshall. "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."

Kirkland Lake Gold is a growing gold producer operating in Canada and Australia and has three high-quality operations, including the Fosterville Mine located in the Australian State of Victoria, and the Macassa and Detour Lake Mines, located in Northern Ontario, Canada. Operating since 2005, and with a 2019 production of 619,316 oz, the high-grade, low-cost Fosterville underground mine near Bendigo, is the largest gold producer in Victoria.

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."

Looking ahead to the future of PhotonAssay, Mr Treasure was similarly confident. "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."

Delivery of the PhotonAssay unit for Fosterville has already occurred, with the installation to be fully operational by early October. On Site Laboratory Services in Bendigo will staff and operate the unit on behalf of Kirkland Lake Gold.

This release first appeared here: Chrysos PhotonAssay, the quantitative, chemistry-free replacement for Fire Assay on-site and in the laboratory 


Chrysos PhotonAssay delivers faster, more accurate gold analysis
Chrysos PhotonAssay is a chemistry-free replacement for fire assay ©  ©copyright Tony McDonough
Chrysos PhotonAssay is applicable for miners and laboratories
Fosterville – underground truck at the Ellesmere portal
Fosterville processing plant

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