Barrick commissions Africa’s first PhotonAssay laboratory

11th October 2021 By: Creamer Media Reporter

Barrick commissions Africa’s first PhotonAssay laboratory

A Chrysos PhotonAssay laboratory has been installed at Barrick Gold's Bulyanhulue mine in Tanzania

Gold major Barrick Gold Corporation has, in partnership with MSALABS, successfully installed a Chrysos PhotonAssay laboratory at its Bulyanhulu mine, in Tanzania.

This is the first PhotonAssay laboratory in Africa and the first to be installed by Barrick.

"This new technique delivers faster, safer and more accurate analysis of gold, silver and complementary elements by nondestructive measurement of larger and more representative samples in as little as two minutes, enabling rapid turnaround of critical operational information that drives optimisation throughout the mining value chain.
"The system provides an environment-friendly, chemical-free, more sustainable replacement for traditional fire assay methods, significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions and hazardous waste," says Barrick.
Barrick president and CE Mark Bristow says the laboratory is part of the group’s continuing drive to harness technological innovation in the service of operational excellence, occupational safety and environmental care.

Australian mining technology company Chrysos Corporation says this was the company's first deployment of the PhotonAssay technology at a mine site.

"Originally developed at Australia’s national science agency Csiro, Chrysos PhotonAssay delivers faster, safer and more accurate gold analysis, and is an environment-friendly 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," the company notes.

“Chrysos is proud to be working with both Barrick Gold and MSALABS on this new PhotonAssay installation at Bulyanhulu. We are confident that PhotonAssay’s faster, safer and environment-friendly process not only aligns with Barrick’s focus on operational excellence through technology adoption, but also reflects and enhances its global reputation as a leader in sustainable mining and exploration,” adds Chrysos CE Dirk Treasure.

He points out that the company plans to deploy 80 PhotonAssay units over the next five years.

"At that point, with each unit capable of processing up to 480 000 samples a year, we will be helping our customers reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 18 000 t/y and decrease hazardous waste by about 12 000 t/y.”