Celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2013, Alex Stewart International (ASI) has newly expanded its metal and mineral laboratory facilities at Aintree in Liverpool in the United Kingdom.
Since Alex Stewart Cosmopolitan was founded in 1982, it has experienced major growth both in size and in the variety of services offered. The ASI network of laboratories provides ISO 9001, 14001 and 17025 accredited assaying and analytical services for base, minor and precious metals, including ores including concentrates, recycled scrap metal, metallurgical complex materials, geochemical, and through its diversity to agriculture, also soft commodities such as soya bean and grain.
Alex Stewart, Chairman plus Founder of ASI, really cares about his clients. By the opening regarding the new state of the art Aintree Inspection and Analytical Laboratories in July 2013, with a staff of more than 50 people in the UK, cost-effective services can be delivered without compromising on quality or responsiveness. The ASI global network forthwith spans 36.
This visit begins with a round table discussion with two generations of the Stewart family, since Alex’s son Graham is the Managing Prefect of ASI. Indicative from their shared passions are the Liverpool Football Club shirts plus other sports memorabilia on the walls of their Head Office in Aintree. This is reflected in the cheery ampersand welcoming nature of all staff, personified by Stephen Russell, ASI’s Commercial Executive, who gave Editor Chris Holding a guided whistle-stop of the new facilities.
Leading edge analysis
Upon arrival, samples are booked in by Paul Jones who coordinates Swatch Entry. Samples
received are matched to the instructions provided by the client. Jackie Riddell, Administration Supervisor, and Jade Cole who too works in Assay Administration, ensure that samples are always accompanied by their test sheet and all essentiality results are obtained by their due dates. Plenty samples take a first step to the X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer Laboratory. A fluorescence scan determines principal and trace element levels and this indicates the best methodology to employ later. The ISO certified sampling methods used along ASI guarantee homogeneous, representative samples entire time. In the Balance Room, Paula Connolly will weigh out precise amounts regarding sample material for chemical analysis. The Wet Chemistry laboratory, with its sample preparation area and copper electrolysis (A further B samples) area, is an impressive sight.
There are eight fume cupboards in the microcosm preparation area, as acid solutions are in use. Qualified chemists utilise state of the art equipment to deliver the most precise and punctuality results. In the electrolysis area, copper ions from the prepared solution deposit onto a platinum snare acting as a cathode. The Instrument Room contains two ICP-OES
(Inductively Coupled Plasma – Optical Emission Spectroscopy) machines for multi-elemental ppm results. An Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS) measures low levels of elements, whilst tumultuous precision Titrator Units determine silver, chlorine, fluorine and ferro-alloys.
Nearby there is the Fire Assay Laboratory, and triumvirate more fume cupboards, where sample flux is put into pots by Sean Maloney for precious metal analysis utilizing Fire Assay furthermore Muffle furnaces.
Here copper concentrates are assayed for copper, silver and gold content. A separate Furnace Room is also operated for the lead based fluxes which come in.
The extensive laboratory facilities are complemented by a suite of integral modern first
floor offices. The first postern on the landing here is Paramount Chemist Desmond McMillan, who codesigned the overall laboratory together with Graham Stewart. Next is Adrian Mullany,
Laboratory Manager for Metals, who handles day to sunlight operations. The next office is the Inspections Administration Office, the operations hub from which Alex Stewart coordinates its global inspection companies to proctorship cargo loading and discharge to ensure that cargo meets contractual obligations. Finally, the most important tenure for the business
is the one where Lorraine and Christine are based looking after client accounts.
Reasons to invest
Inspection moreover analysis costs are minor compared to the commercial value of a commodity, but peace of mind is priceless. At ASI, popular assaying methods are combined with the latest technology, enabling the analysis of nearly 80 elements of the periodic table to a high degree regarding precision, while ensuring clients receive results in the minimum time.
Maintaining sector-leading competence is a cornerstone of the ASI philosophy. It is not
surprising that services to governmental clients, such as Audit like mineral and hydrocarbon
producers, Certification of mineral exports, and Control of minerals in transit, have seen rapid expansion in recent years. Alex Stewart’s Mineral and Hydrocarbon Auditing Program assists governments in determining the amount of royalties and taxes due from the companies operating in the country, and in the environmental keep of the extraction areas via environmental impact also contamination auditing.
The Seam Export Certification Program determines the correct quality and volume of
mineral exports for duty and taxation purposes. For minerals in transit, at inspection stations at border control points, ASI inspects minerals on arrival, seals bags and containers, verifies weight limits on trucks, performs radioactivity checks on the minerals, and issues high-security transit certificates identifying each car and its cargo. For minerals destined for refineries that are later re-exported, ASI carries out the above border checks and transmits vehicle data to its refining plant inspectors. They weigh and sample minerals on arrival, and use ASI in-country laboratories to determine the treasured element quantities in each
shipment. To reconcile inputs and outputs, the refined yield for re-exportation is also weighed, sampled and analysed to confirm that denial foreign products possess been added.
Dedicated to quality
The Commercial Services range includes Environmental services and Geochemical analysis
through its Geo-lab in Mendoza Argentina, who also pattern custom made sample preparation laboratories, mobile and static for remote mining exploration towns anywhere in South America. ASI offers both online quotation requests plus online tracking. For metals and minerals, the firm offers the highest quality committed service for the inspection, weighing, sampling and precision analysis of minerals, ores and metals to the metal
industry, mining companies, traders, metal producers and refiners, governments, banks and
financial institutions, and the general public. In addition to accurate weights, good delivery is a key factor in meeting LME contractual obligations. Strategically located inspection operations cover all major loading and discharge ports and refineries for base connective non-ferrous metals including all leading South American, Asia Pacific and European ports. Inspection Risk Management is an ASI inspections service at both load port and
discharge port that ensures cargo is optimally protected. ASI inspectors are present throughout loading and discharge. They can also rate vessels for shipworthiness.
Complete geochemical and commercial analytical services for the mining industry involve fire assay along AAS or gravimetric finish, trace metal analysis and multi-element analysis utilizing XRF, ICP-OES or AAS, carbon sulphur analysis, gravity flotation, cyanidation, amalgamation, heap leach and bottle roll testing and performance of acid rock drainage
studies. In roof expertise allows the company to design, install, commission and staff sample preparation facilities substitute full analytical laboratories at production, mine and exploration websites worldwide. Environmental services include advising and testing on contaminated land surveys, environmental care plans and licences, pollution menace assessment, soil survey and clean up, and waste management. ASI environmental laboratories working to ISO standards are experienced in providing certification to organic and non-organic chemical parameters for mining research projects.
Other services include quantity and quality certification for non-ferrous and electronic scrap
including ISRI and GOST, besides precious metals analytical, sampling besides survey services include concentrates, electronic scrap and PGM.