BASF opens new mining R&D centre in Perth

BASF has opened a new mining research and development centre at the CSIRO's Australian Minerals Research Centre in Perth.

The new developments will focus on minerals processing and metal production, and aim to reduce energy and water usage on mines.

The group originally announced its plans to build the facility late last year.

"Our vision is to become the leading chemical solutions provider to the mining industry by investing in existing and innovative technologies for mineral processing and metal production of ores," Steffen Kudis, head of BASF’s oilfield and mining chemicals business, said

"We are increasing our R&D spending and strengthening our market focused organisation," Kudis explained.

"The agreement with CSIRO is an important step towards building technology and innovation leadership and demonstrates our global commitment to the mining industry."

Speaking at the official opening of the facility this morning, resources and energy minister Martin Ferguson said Australia relies on technological innovation to drive improved productivity, adding that the centre's research will help the country's mining industry to stay globally competitive.

A large part of the facility's research will be on making mining more sustainable.

"Chemistry is a key enabler to making tomorrow's mining industry more sustainable," BASF vice chairman Martin Brudermueller said.

"With the latest advances in mining solutions research, BASF aims to help mining operations to minimise water consumption, maximise recovery, reduce land areas consumed by tailings disposal and minimise the cost and time required to rehab sites".

The opening of this new facility comes as the company strengthens its position in the mining industry.

In April BASF changed its organisational set up to increase its Global Oilfield and Mining Solutions division's focus.

According to the company it has changed the group to more closely align with 'customer needs'.

“High quality ores are becoming depleted and new mines are often in hostile locations while environmental, health and safety regulations are becoming more stringent. BASF aims to help the industry face these challenges with solutions across our customers’ value chain. This new research and development centre will further develop our expertise in areas, which are crucial to meeting future needs,” Kudis said.

Part of this change has been the shifting of offices and business responsibilities into local markets.



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