Once arrived at the refinery, the surface of the doré bars is analysed to determine their chemical composition. Based on this analysis, we proceed to the selection of non-conforming doré bars which is based on a statistical interpretation (level 1). The selected non-conforming doré bars undergo further investigations (levels 2 and 3), which are carried out in specialised laboratories at the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva. These analyses are relatively sophisticated, feasible for few institutions, and time-consuming, whereas doré bars generally need to be processed very quickly. They generate a cost of about a hundred francs and require samples. These analyses are not carried out systematically, but only for non-compliant doré bars determined by the first level. It is therefore essential to make this selection when the doré bars arrive, immediately after the first chemical screening, before they enter the refining process. This conformity assessment must be carried out by a computerised evaluation.
Currently this automation requires the implementation of two steps:
– Improvements and tansformation of the current statistical approach into an extensible approach. Indeed, we currently use a very “user friendly” statistical programme, but with entirely manual steps. An adaptation is therefore necessary.
– Creation of a computer programme that would be integrated into the doré reception process and which allows the automation of the selection process of non-compliant doré bars as soon as it arrives.
This immediate selection is essential to get the necessary samples for sub-project 2.
Implementation partner: Metalor and other refineries
Research partner: UNIL
Duration of this sub-project: 24 months
Financial resources required: CHF 400’000.-
Already supported funding: CHF 15’000.-