Processing Australian ores to unlock their potential

Through innovation and discovery in the processing of Australian ores we are unlocking base, precious and light metal resources and helping to sustain the benefits from our national mineral resources. Our innovation in this field draws on research strengths in process chemistry, metallurgy, engineering, materials characterisation, and alternative process development and optimisation.

The Challenge

Maintaining national prosperity from our resources

Australian ores contribute a lion share of value to the Australian economy but this value depends upon commodity prices, ore quality, and the ability to sustain production and revenue from these resources.

As higher grade and more accessible ore bodies diminish, we are faced with a challenge to sustain the benefits from mining  through lower grade, more complex or less accessible ore bodies.

Increasingly, new processes and technologies are needed to obtain the best from these ores, for example:

  • to deal with lower quality feedstocks for metal production,
  • to selectively remove impurities
  • extracts ores safely without highly toxic chemical use
  • to cost-effectively process types of ores previously not viable

Our Response

Delivering innovations to sustain global competitiveness of Australian industry

We are rising to the challenge of sustaining the benefits of Australia’s mineral resources through innovation and discovery of solutions and efficiencies in ore processing.

Drawing on a track record and expertise in process chemistry and metallurgy, process mechanics and engineering, materials characterisation, and alternative process development, we are helping to maintain existing industries and foster new ore production.

Some of our key successes include working with partners to develop new processes for:

  • extracting nickel from laterites
  • using lower quality feedstocks for bauxite and alumina industries
  • iron ore sinter blends for blast furnace productivity
  • removing impurities from copper concentrates
  • safe leaching of gold without cyanide
  • optimising coking coal blends to minimise costs and equipment damage

Case studies


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