Atomic Gold operates a state-of-the-art testing laboratory. Our testing methods are accredited since 1991 according to ISO/IEC 17025 standards. All sampling and testing activities are performed by independent certified precious metals assayers in compliance with the Precious Metals Control Law and supervised by the Office for Precious Metals Control.

A highly qualified professional team carries out a whole range of analyses to ensure Atomic Gold always meets both production and environmental standards of excellence.

Our laboratory employs a comprehensive range of testing techniques as e.g. traditional Fire Assay, potentiometric methods, XRF, SPARK and ICP spectrometry. Testing methods are applied on a case-by-case basis and may include various testing techniques, applied singly or in combination, as appropriate. We maintain close and effective communication with our Clients and their Representatives and cooperate closely with the public authorities.

Analysis process


Phase 1 – The laboratory shall clean and drill the samples, putting the drillings from each sample into separate envelopes. The laboratory shall then analyze each individual sample to verify the homogeneity of the melt. If homogeneity is verified and there is an agreement for exchange of assays between the Client and Atomic Gold, three equal final samples of usually 5 grams each shall be prepared with the drillings of the sample taken from the melt just before pouring. If homogeneity cannot be proved the lot shall be re-melted.

Phase 2 – The obtained samples are sealed by the Representative, labelled with the melt number and distributed as follows:

  1. a) One sealed sample is kept with Atomic Gold at the Client’s disposal or delivered to its Representative, if present. Atomic Gold will mail such sample to the Client or Client’s requested laboratory upon written instructions; 
  2. b) One sealed sample is kept at Atomic Gold’s laboratory to perform the analysis;
  3. c) One sealed sample remains with Atomic Gold for contingent Umpire assay.

Phase 3 – Sampling of the recovery bar: the laboratory shall sample the recovery bar. The samples taken shall be put into separate envelopes, labelled with the melt number and the drilling side. The sample shall be analyzed by Valcambi to verify the homogeneity of the recovery bar.

Phase 4 – Preparation/sealing of the final samples of the recovery bar: if homogeneity of the recovery bar has been proved, three sealed envelopes shall be prepared, containing each usually 5 grams of drilled material, after having mixed equal parts of the drillings taken from the recovery bar. The samples obtained from the recovery bar are sequentially stored with the other samples.

Phase 5 – Assays: the assays shall be carried out by the fire assay method. Results of such assays shall be exchanged simultaneously between Client and Atomic Gold by mail, on a date to be agreed upon and followed by fax or e-mail the following day. Should the difference between the exchanged results not exceed the Splitting Limits, then the arithmetic mean of the results of Atomic Gold and Client shall be taken as final. 

Phase 6 – Splitting Limits: subject to exchange of assays being contractually agreed upon the splitting limits are usually: 0.05% for Au and 0.20% for Ag in case of gold base material; 0.03% for Au and 0.20% for Ag in case of silver base material. For Pt and Pd Atomic Gold’s assays will be final and binding.

Assay results shall be expressed to four (4) significant figures for 995,0 and higher fineness and five (5) significant figures for gold below 995,0 fineness.

Phase 7 – Umpire

  1. a) If the difference between the assays exceeds the splitting limits, both Client and Atomic Gold shall have the right to ask for assays to be remade or to request an umpire analysis.
  2. b) The second assay or the Umpire analysis, if requested, has to be initiated within 4 (four) Business Days after the request is made.
  3. c) The Umpire assayer shall not be the Representative of Client or Atomic Gold.
  4. d) The Umpire assayer shall be one of the firms previously agreed upon on a rotational basis and shall use the fire assay method. Any other organization may be designated as Umpire assayer by Client and Atomic Gold from time to time upon mutual agreement.
  5. e)     Umpire results   
    If the difference between Atomic Gold’s and the Client’s assay results is equal or less than

0.05% for Au and 0.20% for Ag in case of Gold Base Material
0.03% for Au and 0.20% for Ag in case of Silver Base Material

the average of the assay results of the Client and Atomic Gold shall be taken as the agreed Settlement assay;

  1. If the subsequent Exchange exceeds the splitting limits, the Umpire sample shall be submitted within 4 (four) business days to one of the assayers set forth under (d) above which shall act as Umpire assayers on a shipment by shipment rotation basis.

III. If Client or Atomic Gold submit the Umpire sample to an Umpire assayer and the Umpire’s assay results are between the re-assay results of Client and Atomic Gold, the Umpire’s results shall be final and binding on both parties for settlement.

  1. If the Umpire’s assay results are outside of the re-assay results of Client and Atomic Gold, the assay results of the party closest to the Umpire re-assay results shall be final and binding on both parties for settlement.
  2. f) The cost of the Umpire’s assay shall be borne by the party whose re-assay results are furthest from that of the Umpire. if the Umpire’s assay should be the arithmetic mean between the re-assay results of the two parties, the costs of the Umpire’s assay shall be born equally by Client and Atomic Gold.