New consortium to improve future processing efficiencies

L-R: Program chair Neville Plint and technical directors Liza Forbes and Kym Runge. Image: The University of Queensland

Mining companies including Newmont, Glencore and Eriez Flotation are sponsoring a consortium run by the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute to improve the energy efficiency of mineral processing operations.

The Collaborative Consortium for Coarse Particle Processing Research will run for an initial period of five years, with first projects expected to commence from early 2021.

The research program will target aspects of particle processing such as flotation, comminution, classification and equipment design and process chemistry.

Chaired by the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) director Neville Plint, the research aims to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating human-made climate change.

Newmont director of processing, Ronel Kappes said the company had identified coarse particle recovery as a key enabling technology to improve future processing efficiencies.

This was reaffirmed by Eriez flotation division’s global managing director, Eric Wasmund, who stated: “As demonstrated by our leading-edge HydroFloat technology, coarse particle flotation is a key disruptive technology for improving mineral recoveries, reducing power and water consumption and producing safer tailings.”

Eriez will be a founding sponsor of the consortium, which will also comprise researchers from the SMI and representatives from Newcrest Mining, Aeris Resources, Anglo American and Hudbay Minerals.

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