Rio and Curtin form R&D partnership

CURTIN University of Technology and Rio Tinto have entered into a $10.5 million partnership to develop a world class innovation centre for strategic research and development in materials and sensing in mining.

Curtin University of Technology and Rio Tinto have entered into a $10.5 million partnership to develop a world class innovation centre for strategic research and development in materials and sensing in mining.

Based at Curtin’s Bentley campus, the Centre for Materials and Sensing in Mining will provide unique opportunities for Curtin’s researchers and research students to enhance the most advanced mining systems in the world.

The Centre will also be a magnet that attracts talented scientists and engineers seeking quality research facilities in a global industry focussed environment.

Professor Jeanette Hacket, Vice Chancellor of Curtin explained the benefits of the new Centre.

“The Centre will involve collaboration with key research areas across the University and will include partnerships with a range of highly respected international research institutes,” Professor Hacket said.

“It clearly demonstrates the significant focus Curtin has in the resources sector.”

Rio Tinto’s partnership with Curtin will also provide a global reach into a diverse range of world class research institutes.

Sam Walsh, Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive, commented on the direct links with leading international research groups that will grow as a result of the alliance.

“The Materials and Sensing Centre will provide Rio Tinto with access to world-class research capability in this critical area. Curtin University has an international reputation for expertise in sensing and materials, including the capabilities of Curtin’s Western Australian School of Mines,” Walsh said.

“This partnership is exciting, both for its research potential and for its practical and commercial perspective. Its main work will be in development, testing and deployment of technologies with specific application to Rio Tinto’s operations.”

Open pit mining operations and associated transport efficiency issues will be addressed by the new Centre and ultimately benefit Rio Tinto by providing solutions through the development of advanced and innovative technologies.

Vladimir Golovanevskiy will lead the Centre to be a global leader in the field of sensing and materials applications to achieve a step change in surface mining.

Greater knowledge of rock properties will lead to improvement of logistics such as mining sequence, equipment deployment, ore/waste discrimination and subsequent processing steps.

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