Feed (head) samples, tailings products, concentrate streams, solution tenors, carbons, precipitates, and water, all need an assay in order to determine the metal deportment and assess the extraction, recovery, and/or material specification. Assays ultimately complete the metallurgical testwork process and these need to be done as quickly and as accurately as possible in order to keep the program running on schedule. This is why ALS Metallurgy does not outsource its assays to other divisions or third parties in favor of running a separate state-of-the-art assay facility at its metallurgical laboratory campus in Perth.
Products from metallurgical test programs are hugely diverse in both mass and elemental concentrations, ranging from trace impurities to high percentage contents. Unfortunately, this diversity very often presents a challenge to geochemistry facilities that are designed around a highly efficient mass production process where analysis is fully predicated on the submission form for fixed techniques. As such, complex metallurgical samples will often be put to the side and batch processed when time permits or the very first technique will consume the entire sample mass leaving insufficient sample for the remaining methods. Turnaround times and completeness are often the casualty for this mismatch. The primary purpose of our assay laboratory is to process complex multifaceted analyses and the laboratory process and range of analytical techniques are structured accordingly. Our chemists know what our metallurgists need, and clients, too, are able to liaise directly with assay laboratory staff to achieve timely and accurate results.
The Metallurgy assay lab is not a geochemistry facility whereby analysis is the singular core business. Our assay prices are integral with the associated metallurgical test program and prices and techniques can vary depending on that program.
In selected cases, and for moderate sample volumes, yes. Ask our assay laboratory manager. You may like to move to our ALS Geochemistry service.
Yes, of course. ALS, however, cannot be held responsible for extended turnaround times from third parties. Samples subject to quarantine cannot leave site, however, without a government movement order.
The perennial question that unfortunately must be answered under the caveat of the cyclical mining industry, which provides for wildly fluctuating workloads, labour market conditions, consumable prices, supply constraints and cost controls. So notwithstanding extreme boom or bust periods, typical turnaround times are follows:
ALS is a quarantine approved premises and treats many samples of oversea origin. Strict regulatory requirements are in needed around packaging and paperwork. However, ALS can advise you on these requirements.