"We will continue to establish more PhotonAssay units throughout sites across West Africa to continue our drive towards sustainability."

Sampson Koduah

WEST AFRICA GENERAL MANAGER, INTERTEK MINERALS

January 12, 2024

How has the industry in Ghana received Intertek Minerals’ PhotonAssay technology?

In September, Intertek Minerals introduced the PhotonAssay technology into our laboratory in Tarkwa, to elevate our support to the gold industry in West Africa. This advancement is a testament to Intertek’s ongoing pursuit of excellence and our commitment to being the leading Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide.

PhotonAssay is a revolutionary analytical technique that ushers in a new era of speed, accuracy and safety in gold analysis. This innovative approach delivers results in a fraction of the time required by conventional methods, while also significantly reducing the use of hazardous chemicals. Our Centre of Excellence in Perth, Australia has seen the adoption of this groundbreaking technology from top-tier gold miners, and we anticipate a similar uptake in West Africa. We are also proud to share that we have the first on-site PhotonAssay laboratory mine site in Tarkwa, Ghana, and we have already started seeing the adoption of the technology from major industry players. 

What does demand from the mining industry currently look like for Intertek’s services?  

Mineral assaying is currently Intertek’s key business in Ghana. With investors and mining companies focused on innovation and sustainability, Intertek has continuously sought to enhance and expand our service offerings to include environmental testing.

Is most of Intertek’s assaying work still focused on gold, or are you seeing more interest in other commodities? 

Although gold analysis remains a key focus of our business, over the last few years we have seen a steady increase in market interest in other commodities including bauxite and lithium as well as chrome and manganese. Nonetheless, continuing our support of the gold sector remains our number one priority. Intertek Minerals will always look to diversify its service offerings to provide the latest in assurance, testing, inspection and certification services.

Can you touch upon Intertek’s initiatives to train the local workforce in the field of lithium assaying? 

Currently, lithium analysis is not undertaken in Ghana, however, lithium samples are prepared in the country and then shipped to our Minerals Global Centre of Excellence in Australia. In addition, we provide comprehensive geochemical assaying services, including lithium, battery metals, and other commodities throughout Asia. 

Intertek plans to continue to stay at the forefront of providing analytical solutions to the mining industry, which involves potentially expanding our capabilities to be able to perform lithium analysis in the country. Training and support will be provided to our local teams by our technical experts at the Centre of Excellence, with the incentive to upskill our colleagues in cutting-edge innovative technologies and methodologies. 

Working with companies that have a focus on their scope one and scope two emissions, how important is Intertek’s ESG stance going to be in the coming months?

We are deeply committed to supporting our customers to minimize their environmental impact. Our new PhotonAssay technology speaks much more towards sustainability and will significantly decrease our emissions - one of the company’s efforts in adapting to a net-zero roadmap. Mining companies using PhotonAssay on-site should also see a great reduction in emissions, another attractive aspect of the technology. Today, we are seeing an increasing focus on ESG from exploration companies at the early stages.

What are Intertek’s key priorities? 

Intertek Minerals started with one site in Tarkwa, Ghana, however, through expansions we now have nine sites throughout West Africa. I see great opportunities for Intertek in West Africa to continue to support our clients. The milestone of expanding our services to include PhotonAssay showcases the company's unyielding commitment to innovation and reinforces our position as a trusted partner in the West African mining industry.

We also recently opened an Environmental Laboratory within the Tarkwa facility. This is a purpose-built laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment, sample preparation, and analytical sections. The Laboratory in Tarkwa provides a comprehensive range of water quality services for trace chemical compounds and pollutants. This is in line with our purpose of bringing, quality, safety, and sustainability to life.

Intertek will continue to have a focus on innovation and sustainability and aims to engage our clients in efforts to accelerate into a sustainable future. We will continue to establish more PhotonAssay units throughout sites across West Africa to continue our drive towards sustainability whilst supporting our clients.

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