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Weighing, Sampling, and Analysis for Sales Realisation – the Bougainville Experience


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Author Van Der Linden J
ID P198601129


Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) ships about 600,000 dry tonnes of copper concentrate per annum to Japan, Germany and Spain, with some spot sales to other countries. Concentrate sales value for 1984 was 335 million US$, representing almost half of PNG exports. Contained metal determination is based on physical and chemical measurements on representative samples. The entire procedure is subject to statistical uncertainties and possible systematic errors; losses as high as several percent of contained copper or gold are common and frequently are regarded as unavoidable. In this context, the function of the chemical laboratory is to identify and eliminate such errors and recommend correct technical procedures for possible inclusion in sales contracts. BCL’s marketing management has encouraged this approach and the close buyer versus seller agreement is beneficial for all parties involved. BCL participates in the respective technical committees of the Standards Association of Australia (SAA) and the International Standards Organisation (ISO). Standard methods for sampling and analysis of copper, lead and zinc ores and concentrates are in course of preparation, some being due for publication shortly.