Dr Dave Robinson participates in two day CSIRO Chile industry workshop

CSIRO Chile hosted a two part Industry Workshop.

CSIRO Chile hosted a two part Industry Workshop to present first a wider industry audience and then to the sponsors of the International Centre of Excellence in more detail, updates on the various programs and research projects that are currently underway. The first part was held at the U. of Chile at research partner AMTC’s building on May 5 while the sponsor portion was held at CSIRO Chile corporate office on May 6.

Eric Schmidt, Pia Hernandez, Claudia Aguirre, Pedro Morales, all of CSIRO Chile.

CSIRO Chile staff at Industry Workshop Poster Session

The research providers, end users and engineering companies must work together, from concept through to technology delivery, to optimise the opportunity and impact of the great number of innovations and opportunities we have.

— Dr Dave Robinson, CSIRO Minerals Flagship

The wider event was opened by Dr Orlando Jimenez and Dr Javier Ruiz del Solar, Executive Directors of CSIRO Chile and AMTC, respectively. CSIRO Chile Research Program Leaders then provided a brief summary of the research undertaken in our four research lines: Dr Julian Ortiz on GeoResources and Mine Planning; Dr Eleonora Widzyk-Capehart on Intelligent Mining Systems, Dr Leandro Voisin on Mineral Processing and Metallurgical Systems and Dr Angus McFarlane on Water and Energy and Environmental Impact.

Dr Dave Robinson, Theme Leader for Advanced Processing Technologies within the Minerals Flagship of CSIRO Australia then gave a keynote seminar entitled “Complexity and simplicity in mineral processing – optimising the balance for operational efficiency”. This talk gave a perspective on the changing shape of the global minerals industry and its companies and the need for companies to transform their strategy from a “conservative fast follower” to an innovative industry leader to remain in a favourable part of the cost curve and thus remain competitive.

Dr Robinson, illustrated his talk with examples from his group’s approach to specifically improving the underlying understanding and science, combining mathematical modelling, physical modelling and sophisticated measurement techniques that allow model validation at all scales and both molecular / flow sheet and process engineering innovation.
Significant step change innovative flow sheets involving thiosulfate processing of gold ores and nitric acid processing of nickel laterites were presented, as were process engineering innovations in many unit operations from flotation cells, SX and EW contactors, thickeners and slurry pumping. Full-scale benefits to industry were well illustrated and are particularly important at a time when productivity improvements and moving down the cost curve is critical in the mining industry, which is facing lower ore grades, lack of human capital and declining mineral prices.

The final message in Dr Robinson’s talk involved the need for strategic collaboration for significant innovation, “The research providers, end users and engineering companies must work together, from concept through to technology delivery, to optimise the opportunity and impact of the great number of innovations and opportunities we have”.

Both days included a poster session to see more details on individual research projects.

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