Coal grants boost Sustainable Mineral Institute research

New Wilkie

The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Mineral Institute has been awarded more than $1.2 million in Australian Coal Industry’s Research Program (ACARP) grants to develop new sustainable resource research.

Five researchers will share in the grant funding, including Dr Francisco Reyes, who received $286,000 for the development of a soft sensor for predicting dense medium cyclones performance.

Using the Mill Filling Inference Tool (Mill FIT) developed at the university’s Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC), researchers will bring their expertise to the industry’s coal washing processes.

Professor Robin Burgess-Limerick received a grant of $375,573 to study the human aspects of automation and new technology in mining, while Katerina Savinova was awarded a grant of $128,500 to investigate  utilising hyperspectral drill core scanning for geotechnical characterisation.

Dr Mehdi Azadi received $258,875 to research a new cost-effective approach for coal tailings dewatering using semi-inverted (SIV) hydrocyclones, with Dr Angus Morrison awarded $255,784 for a simulation-enabled digital twin for the design, control and optimisation of a teeter bed separator (TBS).

Director of the Sustainable Minerals Institute Professor Neville Plint said he was excited about the new funding for this suite of projects and their associated collaborations.

“Sustainability starts by making current mining operations more efficient, safe and environmentally responsible,” he said.

“It is fantastic to have ACARP’s support to develop the capability of our leaders and students in this field.

“Deepening our expertise in these areas will shine a strong light on sustainable solutions for industry.”

Safety and environment are key drivers of ACARP’s collaborative funding program, which brings together the experience and technical strength of industry and researchers to solve problems for the industry’s long-term future.

ACARP is a unique and highly successful mining research program that has been running in Australia since it was established in 1992.

It is 100 per cent owned and funded by all Australian black coal producers through a five cents per tonne levy paid on saleable coal.

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