Driving productivity and performance in mineral processing

We develop new technologies and design systems to improve efficiency and the economic and environmental performance of mineral processing operations. Key expertise in modelling and simulation, process design and optimisation, engineering and characterisation, sensor development and systems integration helps drive this innovation.

The Challenge

Enhancing productivity

The need for productivity improvements across the mineral resources value chain has increased with downturns in commodity prices and as access to high grade resources has diminished.

Productivity and environmental outcomes suffer without attention to the design of processes, equipment and whole systems.  These same areas of focus present significant opportunities for improving economic and environmental outcomes.

Our Response

Technology to boost processing efficiency and profits

We are developing process technologies that underpin competitive Australian operations and global mineral engineering technology sector (METS) opportunities.

By combining our skills in mathematical and physical modelling with expertise in onsite sensors, diagnostic tools and engineering innovation, we have developed a wide range of technologies and solutions for the mineral processing industry such as:

  • advanced thickener modelling  technology that has already delivered US$500 million of productivity improvements
  • smart stirring equipment such as the swirl flow radial agitator that is enabling more efficient mixing and even distribution of solids in holding tanks
  • solvent extraction technologies for the separation, purification and recovery of metals, particularly uranium, copper, nickel, cobalt and rare earths, from solutions.
  • Monitoring and fine-tuning equipment and system performance to improve efficiency and minimise downtime and costs, as has been achieved with the acoustic emissions analyser.

Case studies

  • Sounding out machine performance

    Our acoustics emission analyser passively monitors machine performance by listening in to the sounds that a machine is making. This enables operators to diagnose issues in real time to reduce downtime and maximise efficiency.

  • Solvent extraction to recover metals

    Solvent extraction is a valuable technology for recovering a range of metals from solutions. Our team of experts can develop solvent extraction processes, from reagent selection to fully continuous piloting and plant design, for individual feed solutions.

  • Swirl flow

    Swirl flow is a simple mixing technology that creates a tornado-like flow pattern inside mixing tanks to lift settling solids from the bottom. It was developed using world-class science and is saving the mineral processing industry time and money.

  • Delivering millions in value through advanced thickener modelling

    Using our expertise in mathematical and computational fluid dynamics we have created the world’s first three-dimensional full thickener model which is delivering results for the for the mineral processing industry.

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