Gold, Silver & Copper by PhotonAssay™

PhotonAssay™ is a fast, accurate, non-destructive process to determine gold, silver and copper in geological and process samples.

The technique uses gamma ray activation to induce nuclear transitions in the elements of interest, which leads to photon emissions with highly characteristic energies.

PhotonAssay™ can be performed on coarsely crushed material, allowing for simplified prep protocols. A large assay charge of approximately 500g is introduced to the instrument, improving representativeness of the sample. The time required from sample introduction to results acquisition can be as little as 3 minutes.

After analysis, the entire assay charge is returned intact and can be submitted for subsequent analyses such as geochemistry, cyanidation, metallurgical testing, environmental testing, etc. or retained for future verification.

Unlike traditional assay techniques, PhotonAssay™ does not use acids nor other hazardous reagents, does not generate lead fumes or solid waste, reduces manual handling and cuts the per-sample carbon footprint by up to half.

Gold, Silver & Copper by PhotonAssay™

In partnership with Chrysos PhotonAssay™ technology, our assays use high-energy X-rays to atomically quantify gold, silver, and copper.

  • Simplicity reduces the process to 3 steps
  • Gold, Silver, analysis in under 3 minutes
  • Data rich output with online QA/QC
  • Non-destructive process for sample retention

Traditional Fire Assay

Fully dry sample
Prepare sample (crush/Grind)
Divide into 25-50g aliquots
Prepare fusion samples (mix with flux/litharge)
Fusion: fire sample at 1000-1200 degrees centigrade
Separate lead button from slag
Cupeling: re-fire button to remove lead
Dissolve remaining metal in concentrated acid
Analyze resulting solution via AAS / ICPMS

New PhotonAssay™

Optionally-dry sample
Crush sample to nominal 2mm or pulverize, then load into barcoded jar
Place jar on to automated conveyer for quantitative analysis in less than 3 minutes
Fire Assay PhotonAssay™
Time per sample ~3-4 hours <3 minutes
Sample size 10-50 grams 350-500 grams
CO2 per sample 0.91 kg 0.455 kg
Hazardous waste per sample 0.31 kg 0 kg
Energy use per sample ~1.3 kWh ~0.65 kWh
Automation No Yes

Dependable Quality. Rapid Turnaround. Unmatched Value.

Paragon’s core conviction is that to provide value, results of unquestionable quality must be reported rapidly for informed decision making. Our service offerings include a wide range of analytical techniques to suit the needs of the mining industry.