Three Queensland scientists have been awarded more than half a million dollars for research into innovative solutions for the mining industry.
According to QLD minister for innovation, science, and the digital economy Leeanne Enoch, the $540,000 research funding – part of a wider $10 million funding program – will aid the state’s resources industry.
“Queensland is recognised internationally for its research in mining and engineering and we are home to many brilliant scientists, who work in a number of institutions and joint ventures, and are working to develop new technologies and bring them to commercial success,” Enoch said.
“These Advance Queensland Research Fellowships will assist the mining industry with addressing current challenges and developing innovative solutions to help Queensland remain internationally competitive.”
The three recipients are Dr. Hong Peng, Dr. Pradeep Shukla, and Dr. Sergio-Andres Galindo-Torres, who will each receive $180,000 over the next three years.
Peng, from the University of Queensland’s School of Chemical Engineering, is aiming to develop new pathways to unlock Queensland’s bauxite ore reserves through process technology innovation.
In collaboration with Rio Tinto through the University of Queensland Rio Tinto Bauxite and Alumina Technology Centre, the project will look to enhance Queensland’s bauxite mineral reserves. The research is also expected to deliver environmental improvements by minimising reagent use and reducing waste generation during alumina production.
Shukla, also from the University of Queensland’s School of Chemical Engineering, will aim to upscale new technology to produce cyanide on-site for gold and base metal mines. In partnership with Synergen Met, Shukla will lead a team to develop a new and significantly safer technology for producing cyanide both on-site and on-demand, consequently avoiding the bulk transport of the toxic material. It will reduce risks associated with cyanide handling transportation and storage, reduce the environmental footprint of cyanide production and supply, and reduce the end-user cost of cyanide.
Galindo-Torres, of the University of Queensland’s School of Civil Engineering, in collaboration with Golder Associates, aims to introduce new modelling and visualisation technologies. Queensland will benefit from this research in the short term by introducing state of the art simulation capabilities for these key economic sectors, and in the long term by contributing to the training of future engineers and scientists working in these areas.
Speaking on the granting of the funding, QLD mines minister Dr. Anthony Lynham said, “While the mining sector is currently facing global challenges, it remains vital to our economy”.
“Important issues like increasing productivity, improving safety, reducing employment impacts, and training future mining engineers are being addressed with support from the $180 million Advance Queensland initiatives.
“These scientists will partner with industry organisations to ensure the research is translated into real practical application.”