BSI Inspectorate makes major investment in UK for metals and minerals testing


October 15 2002

BSI Inspectorate's leading international metals and minerals testing business has had a boost with a £1.3m ($US 2m) investment at its main UK testing laboratory at Witham, Essex.

The company has upgraded its fire assay facilities and improved the ergonomics for its chemists, as well as purchasing two new ICP (inductive coupled plasma) machines that can determine the elemental make-up of a sample to the parts per million level.

John Gynn, UK managing director of BSI Inspectorate, said: "The improvement in efficiency and capacity has enabled the lab to increase its testing capacity by around 10%.

"This boosts our ability to maintain our strong position in the market. An added bonus is that we now have a 'shop window' second to none to show our clients," John Gynn added.

Witham is also implementing a new management system that will enable samples to be tracked electronically as they move between each laboratory bench. A pilot scheme will be up and running in 2003.

The laboratory carries out analysis work on a whole range of samples including base metals such as lead, zinc and copper, along with precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium. Some test processes can last up to 15 days.

Fine degrees of accuracy are required as results of analysis are used by customers for financial settlement of contracts.

The final phase of the upgrade was focussed on the fire assay area, arguably the largest independent facility of its type in the world, as confirmed by customers.

The work included adding another floor to separate the administration and calculation areas from the lab processes.

The area where lead is used for the extraction of silver and gold from the sample has been completely sealed off from other areas and climatic controls have been introduced in all areas to keep solutions at their optimum working temperature.

BSI acquired Inspectorate from its management in 1998. BSI's deeper pockets have helped to develop the company, both at home in Witham and abroad.

BSI Inspectorate has made significant inroads into China over the last eight years, and is one of only two metal and minerals testing organizations to achieve accreditation in China. It now has a staff of 80 surveyors and inspectors in Guangzhou, Dalian, Nantong, Shanghai and Tianjin.


Wilma Tulloch on +44 (0)20 8996 6330 OR
Marc Edney on +44 (0)20 8996 6330