Novel X-ray technology developed by CSIRO is set to revolutionise the method for detecting and analysing gold ores. The photon analysis technique has been commercialised by Chrysos Corp and has now been adopted by Australian mining services company Ausdrill.
The fully automated process dramatically reduces the turnaround time on assays from days to minutes, providing critical data to miners on gold grades in near real-time to support operational decisions. This makes it a faster, safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to the conventional fire assay technique for gold analysis.
After recognising the technology’s potential, CSIRO partnered with investors to create the new Australian company Chrysos Corporation in late 2016 to bring it to market.
Research Program Director Nick Cutmore says: “We developed photon assay recognising the market need for innovative data solutions to drive better and faster decision making across the minerals value chain.
“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 first photon assay system is now operational at Ausdrill’s MinAnalytical facility in Perth, with two more systems to be established in the Kalgoorlie goldfields in the coming months. Ausdrill eventually plans to take the innovation to Africa.