Capturing the full economic value of ore
Australia is the world's second largest gold producer with an annual gold production valued at approximately $15 billion.
Analytical services - worth nearly $1 billion globally - are an essential part of the mining value chain, from exploring for new deposits through to running profitable extraction operations.
In an industry facing declining ore grades, rapid analytical technology has the potential to unlock substantial productivity gains in gold mining and production, and open up a significant new market for real-time analysis services in on-site applications.
For example, gold processing plants may only recover between 65 and 85 per cent of gold present in mined rock. Given a typical plant produces around $1 billion of gold each year, this means hundreds of millions of dollars worth of gold is going to waste.
Even a modest five per cent improvement in recovery would be worth around half a billion dollars annually to the industry.
Faster, safer, more accurate and environmentally-friendly analysis
We developed an automated solution that delivers minerals analysis in minutes rather than hours.
It represents the first major advancement in gold assaying in centuries, offering a unique solution to a range of operational, economic and environmental challenges facing mining and exploration companies.
The technique – based on Gamma Activation Analysis – uses high powered x-rays to bombard rock samples and activate atoms of gold and other metals.
A highly sensitive detector then picks up the unique atomic signatures from these elements to determine their concentrations.
In 2016, we partnered with experienced investors and industry professionals to form Chrysos Corporation Limited (Chrysos) and took the technology to market.
Marketed as Chrysos PhotonAssayTM, the innovative solution offers a rapid, safe and sustainable alternative to the slower, more hazardous and environmental-harmful 1000-year-old fire assay technique, which involves sending mineral samples to a central laboratory, where they are heated up to 1200°C and generally destroyed.
PhotonAssay disrupts the global market
Delivering faster, safer, and more accurate gold analysis, Chrysos PhotonAssay is an environmentally-friendly replacement for fire assay on-site and in the laboratory. Its fast turnaround on high sample volumes provides critical operational information and drives optimisation through the entire mining value chain.
Whilst major mining services company Perenti became the first industry player to adopt PhotonAssay in May 2018, the technology has been further deployed and embedded with recognised industry leaders, including the world's third largest laboratory group, Intertek, geochemical laboratory services provider, MSALABS and multiple top-tier miners, including Kirkland Lake Gold and Barrick Gold.
Through the development of PhotonAssay, CSIRO and Chrysos digitised assaying, improved the economics of gold processing and unlocked major revenue and cost benefits for gold miners.
The technology continues to provide faster, more accurate assaying, reduce emissions and protect operators by removing hazardous chemicals from the analytical process.