Ausdrill’s fully owned subsidiary MinAnalytical has received accreditation to international standards for its ground-breaking PhotonAssay™ unit, following a rigorous validation process.


Samples prepared for the photon assay unit

The National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) – Australia’s national accreditation body for laboratories, inspection bodies and calibration services – has issued accreditation in compliance with ISO/IEC 17025 – Testing.

MinAnalytical’s General Manager Gary Wheeler believes that the testing and validation are an assurance that the system will produce accurate results that have been benchmarked against fire assay.

“With installation, commissioning and validation of the PhotonAssay unit now completed, we are able to offer this service to our customers”, commented Mr Wheeler.

According to Ausdrill, interest from mining companies has been very strong since the Chrysos PhotonAssay machine was unveiled mid this year.

In addition to the PhotonAssay machine at MinAnalytical’s laboratory in Perth, MinAnalytical plans to commission two similar units in Kalgoorlie in the Western Australian Goldfields in early 2019.

The technology, developed by CSIRO, slashes the time it takes to analyse a drilling sample from days to hours.

The PhotonAssay instrument combines speed with a high degree of reliability, and is an alternative to the traditional fire assay process. It represents a chemical-free approach to material analysis that gives accurate results in minutes. It uses a larger sample size than fire assay, with reduced sample preparation.

A further benefit is the potential of testing a sample repeatedly if required, unlike fire assay, which involves the destruction of the sample.

The first machine has the capacity to analyse up to 40,000 samples per month.

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