Despite the unprecedented downturn facing Australia’s minerals industry, CSIRO minerals chief Dr Bart Follink said now is the best time for companies to invest in strategic research and development.
“Wise investment in R&D can improve operating efficiency and environmental sustainability, improving mineral processors’ bottom line —today,” Dr Follink said.
“Our researchers have identified that reducing the viscosity of smectite slurries could translate into nickel production gains of up to 20%.”
According to Follink, long term investment in R&D remains crucial because the market will inevitably regain strength leaving the industry to develop the technology and expertise quickly.
“Long term R&D will also help processors reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which given the likely introduction of carbon pricing, is becoming both an environmental and economic imperative for the industry.”