Fire assay is the most widely used analysis technique for the determination of gold and other precious metals. It is a complex, multi-step process that requires skilled technicians and thorough quality assurance and control procedures to maintain reasonable accuracy. The small mass of material analysed – typically just 10-50 g – makes analysis of highly heterogeneous ores particularly challenging.
Fire assay also presents significant OH&S risks, including the use of lead and other toxic and caustic reagents, exposure to dust, working with molten rock samples, and the generation of contaminated waste materials.
In comparison, Chrysos PhotonAssay® is a fully-automated process with minimal sample preparation and no use of chemical reagents.