Chris Walne delivered a speech entitled PGM Impurities and Fire Assay to the London Bullion Market Association's conference earlier this month. He also wrote an accompanying article for their internationally published trade magazine Bullion Bulletin which gives information insights for the bullion business.
The acronym PGM stands for platinum group metals. These are platinum, palladium, rhodium, osmium, ruthenium and iridium – they occur most commonly in alluvial deposits, mine samples, jewellery scrap and electronic material. Chris' talk, and article in Volume 7, Issue 3 explores suitable methods of the accurate analysis of gold by Fire Assay when samples contain PGM content. Using his extensive knowledge gained over 32 years, he explains the recommended methods, their limitations, and the preferred technique of choice for us here in the Lab at the GCAO.
Chris says “The magazine is published for the Asian gold markets, in particular India which has a massive gold bullion market but lacks certain expertise in the analysis of precious metals. Many delegates from bullion dealers and refiners who publish in the Bullion Bulletin attend the London Bullion Market Association assaying and refining conferences. I have presented papers on fire assay and XRF in the past there, and previously on our work at the Assay Office, so the Editors asked me back - it was a pleasure to help.”
A visit to the Lab is included in our group tours of the Assay Office – for info, and to book, contact Dave Merry.