New Scientific Papers on Progradex – AusIMM

New Scientific Papers relating to results from Progradex PGX Series Sampling Systems will be presented at two AusIMM Conferences later in the year.

“Simple Facts About Sampling Gold Ores” will be presented by Dr Geoff Lyman – Principal, Materials Sampling & Consulting Pty Ltd – at the 13th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference 2016 on 10-12th October 2016 at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Perth, Western Australia.

“A Fine Looking Sample – The Importance of Fines in Grade Control Sampling” will be presented by Ben Reid – Senior Mine Geologist, Cowal Gold Mine (NSW), Evolution Mining Ltd – at the Ninth AusIMM Open Pit Operators’ Conference 2016 on 15-16th November 2016 at the Western Australian School of Mines Conference Centre in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

Progradex Eliminates ALL Sampling Errors

Sampling Error is complicated and is made up of many contributing and influencing factors (errors) which occur at different stages of the various sampling processes, all of which combine to form what is known as the “Overall Estimation Error (OEE)”.

By far the largest percentage of Overall Estimation Error (OEE) occurs at the first stage however, the drilling stage, where the initial samples are taken. Errors here are grouped into five recognised categories:-

  • Fundamental Error (FSE)
  • Segregation Error (GSE)
  • Weighting Error (IWE)
  • Delimitation Error (IDE)
  • Extraction Error (IEE) 

These five sampling errors are all derived at the drilling stage (drill sampling) and bias here accounts for approximately 1000% of the Overall Estimation Error (OEE) compared to around 50% for the second stage, known as Preparation Error (IPE), and approximately 0.1% at the third stage, known as Analytical Error (AE). The second and third stages occur after drilling once samples are presented to the lab for processing and, while very important, have a relatively small impact on the Overall Estimation Error (OEE) compared to those seen at the drilling stage. This is why it is critical to get your drill sampling right from the outset because the impact of every error thereafter pales into relative insignificance by comparison.

Other than the Fundamental Error (FSE), which is unavoidable though can be managed, a Progradex Sampling System will entirely remove all other sampling errors at the initial drilling stage for the following reasons:-

  • Segregation Error (FSE) – Progradex mechanically layers all of the drilled interval slowly and carefully in a controlled fashion as it leaves the drill bit providing between 160-400 complete cross-sectional slices of the interval into the bag per metre drilled.
  • Weighting Error (IWE) – Progradex samples everything including the fines.
  • Delimitation Error (IDE) – Progradex takes samples at an instantaneous rate directly proportional to the drill’s penetration rate in real time.
  • Extraction Error (IEE) – Progradex samples true pie cuts from the lot with minimum aperture sizes of at least 2.5 times the largest particle size.

Sampling Errors Diagram courtesy of Professor Ana Carolina Chieregati – University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

BBurg Partners With Progradex

In addition to the recent announcement that Japanese machine manufacturing giant, Furukawa, has chosen to partner with Progradex and Driconeq to produce a new RC Grade Control rig offering for the global market, emerging German rig manufacturer, BBurg, has also released its new HD1650D rig for RC Grade Control at Bauma 2016 in Germany this week featuring the Progradex EL850 sampling system as standard. More details to follow…

Furukawa Partners With Progradex

Japanese machine manufacturing giant, Furukawa, has chosen to partner with Progradex and Driconeq to produce a new RC Grade Control Rig offering for the global market. It’s launch is currently underway this week at Bauma 2016 in Germany. More details to follow…

MR1000 – New Product Launch

Progradex has this week announced the imminent release of another new sampling system product line. Termed the MR1000, it is said to fill the mid-tier gap in the market between the highly successful and prized Progradex PGX1350 Series Samplers and their recently released EL850 Entry Level Sampler.

Details are still under wraps but it is said to be a rotary splitter that is almost unblockable, provides around 400 fully cross-sectional slices of the interval per metre drilled into duplicate sample bags and is only around 2.3m tall.

Mining Indaba 2016, RSA

With the beautiful backdrop of Table Mountain and Lions Head Mountain (cover picture), Progradex attended the 2016 Mining Indaba Conference in Cape Town, South Africa in February (6th-9th). It is currently the world’s largest mining investment event and Africa’s largest mining event.

Managing Director, Toby Day, represented Progradex and commented, “While the conference was understandably a little quieter than usual this year due to the current downturn in the global mining industry, all of the main players were there and it was a great opportunity to reestablish relationships with old friends and acquaintances from the industry, some of whom had traveled from all over the world. Some good leads came out of the networking that goes on at such events and potential opportunities in partnership with others were formed.”

Mincon Africa: Left to Right – Martin Van Gemert, Toby Day, Cobi Scheepers (front), Brian Coetzee, Steve Mortimer, Cornelius Boani, Wim Van Heerden


Fernando Anceritz & Dave Shellhammer (Driconeq) with Toby Day, enjoying the nightlife of Cape Town


2nd PGX1350R Commissioned at Bisha Mine

The Copper-Gold-Zinc Bisha Mine in Central Eritrea, N.E. Africa had its second Progradex PGX1350R Sampling System commissioned this month on a Schramm T450WD (wheel mounted) RC drilling rig. This system will support their other Schramm T450GT (track mounted) rig which has been performing RC Grade Control operations with a PGX1350R Sampler for the past year.

Progradex EL850 Entry Level Sampler

EL850 Entry Level Sampler

As announced this week, Progradex has released a new sampling system to the market for 2016. It is a nod to the now well established Cone Splitter sampling system designs pioneered by Progradex Managing Director, Toby Day, in the late 1990’s but with some modern day enhancements and improvements.

The EL850 product has been introduced to fill a technology gap in the market between the very basic cyclone/riffle splitter arrangements and the most technologically advanced Progradex PGX Series sampling systems. It is a fully automatic, gravity fed, mass market product that provides consistent quality sampling at affordable prices.

Though it is described it as an “entry level sampler” the EL850 packs a powerful punch.

Progradex Founder and Managing Director, Toby Day, comments, “Providing definable standards is critical for any industry. They are the boundary limits to work within. While we believe we have the ultimate drill sampling product in the premium PGX Series samplers, and the market results from an ever growing and diverse mineral drilling database backs that claim to be true, what is lacking behind it is an affordable, general purpose sampler for the mass market that can, at the very least, offer definable and consistent results.

It has been 17 years since I designed the world’s first cone splitter while working for Metal Craft in Perth and 18 years since the first automatic sampling system was made. Since then I have focussed on continuous innovation and improvement in this field because the boundaries of RC Drilling had not been realised. That approach produced some cutting edge products of their time, from the original cone splitter to the UDR sampling system (now owned by Sandvik) and, of course, now our latest Progradex PGX Series samplers but, in that time, those earlier product designs have been copied and some of the design principles that make them work properly have been lost. I believe they still have a place in the market today and am bringing them back with basic design principles and some modern day enhancements to improve them further but, most of all, we’re putting consistency into the market. Anything other than consistency is bad for the name of RC Drilling. We may have the best samplers in the world in the PGX Series but without a supporting product like the EL850, we are failing to protect and define RC sampling generally.”

Conceptually, the EL850 is traditional in its make-up – A cyclone and collection/dump box feeding into an adjustable cone splitter. There are however significant design differences between this product and anything else on the market past or present. So, what exactly is different?

HE Cyclone

The cyclone itself has been lifted directly from Progradex’s premium PGX Series sampler product-line due to its super-compact design and high collection efficiency, wear resistance and blockage resistance. The long, tapered inlet transition from the sampling hose is flow-balanced to minimise dead zones that cause hang-up and is manufactured from hardened wear plate. This leads into a fully alumina ceramic lined inlet scroll which produces a very high velocity, centrifugal vortex for unrivalled collection efficiency and the barrel and discharge cone below is fully polyurethane lined to resist blockage, hang-up and cross contamination. It has a low-profile outlet volute to minimise system pressure drop and height and the cyclone lid hinges open assisted by a special heavy duty gas strut to overcome potential injuries associated with powered devices and is mechanically lockable in the open position for fail-safe maintenance.

Collection/Dump Box

The fully automatic Collection/Dump Box is a triumph in compact design without compromising storage capacity. Featuring twin, centrally dumping, Linatex rubber lined gates that seal on machined frame inserts, the double-dump gates are automatically actuated by heavy duty pneumatic cylinders in a factory set dump sequence from a pneumatic control system that allows only one set of gates to be open at any one time in the sequence preventing flow bias during dumping. The gate assemblies are housed within a heavy duty, fully polyurethane lined, steel housing that has 1m interval storage capacity. All moving parts are fully replaceable with bolted machined linkages on keyed drive shafts and hinge points run on quality sealed-for-life bearings. The linkage mechanisms are fully guarded and a large, quick-release inspection door is provided for internal access to the storage area between the two sets of gates. A heavy duty Linatex rubber seal is provided at the base of the unit for sealing with the cone splitter below.

Adjustable Cone Splitter

The Progradex Cone Splitter is designed within recommended “Sampling Theory” guidelines throughout. It is fitted as standard with duplicate sampling ports set 180° apart and extracts the samples via anti-choking radial cutter blades. The inlet throat to the splitter is conical & fully polyurethane lined and fitted as standard with a world leading eccentric pneumatic vibrator to assist flow. A fast-flow sampling cone is designed to evenly spread a bulk sample from the natural necking point of free-flowing materials thereby minimising levelling bias while maximising product throughput. The sampling cone and adjustable splitting cutters below are manufactured from the highest quality grade 316 stainless steel and the splitting percentage of each duplicate can be independently adjusted between 0-15% via lockable quick-release setting knobs on a sliding laser cut scale without the need to change blades. The entire Cone Splitter is mounted from a vertical swing arm arrangement to allow it to be effortlessly swung away from the dump box for bulk interval collection, internal inspection, cleaning or maintenance without potentially hazardous powered drives. It is locked to the dump box on three ultra-heavy duty, quick-release “over-centre” clamps that have a combined supporting capability of almost 3 tonnes. Large, dust sealed, quick-release inspection doors are fitted above each sampling chute and a 360° target spirit level is mounted for system levelling.

Control System

The EL850 automatic dumping sequence uses a straight pneumatic timer control system. No PLC or electronics have been used. The operator has a choice of Wet or Dry Drilling Modes and can independently turn on/off the pneumatic vibrator. For sampling, one button is pushed at the end of the drilling interval and a bag sample is taken. The control box is IP66 rated for total ingress protection from dust and water jets when a rig is washed down. A filter regulator with moisture trap that automatically drains is provided along with a lockable pneumatic isolation valve that automatically purges the system of compressed air when de-energised.


EL850 Entry Level Sampler

Progradex has released a new sampling system product line to the market for 2016. It is a nod to the now well established Cone Splitter sampling system designs pioneered by Progradex Managing Director, Toby Day, in the late 1990’s but with some modern day enhancements.

The product has been introduced to fill a technology gap in the market between the very basic cyclone/riffle splitter arrangements to the most technologically advanced Progradex PGX Series sampling systems with a fully automatic, mass market product that provides a high quality sample at affordable prices.

Progradex describe it as an entry level sampler that is named the EL850 and it packs a powerful punch.

Conceptually, it is traditional in its make-up. A cyclone with a collection/dump box below it feeding into an adjustable cone splitter. There are however significant design differences between this product and anything else on the market past or present.

See More…