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Finalists announced for mining collaboration award

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Global Mining Review,

The Australian Industry Growth Centre for the mining resources, technology and services (METS) sector has announced the finalists for its annual collaboration award.

Four outstanding examples of industry collaboration have been chosen by METS Ignited as finalists for its 3rd annual Collaboration Award, which will be presented at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) Gala Dinner in Melbourne next Wednesday.

In announcing the cohort on 25 October, METS Ignited CEO Ric Gros said the judges chose projects that contributed to a culture of collaboration within the mining innovation ecosystem and achieved mutual business gains through successful collaboration.

“METS Ignited is committed to fostering ways to assist METS and mining companies to work together collaboratively towards common goals and to create step-change within the mining innovation ecosystem. I would like to congratulate our finalists on their submissions as they are demonstrating that collaboration is a key ingredient to success in the sector,” Gros said.

The finalists are:

Unearthed and Newcrest Mining

Following hackathon and online competition initiatives between 2015 and 2017 that have unlocked significant value through crowdsourcing, Newcrest Mining launched The Newcrest Crowd automated online platform, which was developed in partnership with Unearthed. Newcrest sought a long-term solution to easily access a digital community on demand and to work with some of the best innovators in the world to identify, develop and implement new solutions for multi-million dollar operational challenges. After a pilot process involving two successful challenges (Hydrosaver and Get 2 the Core) that delivered commercially-applicable solutions, Newcrest officially launched The Newcrest Crowd as an industry-leading initiative in August 2018.

Core Resources and Mineral Technologies

Globally, there are ever-tightening constraints on the transport, importation and treatment of high arsenic concentrates. As orebodies become increasingly complex and more contaminated, smelters around the world, often located in industrialised urban areas, are finding it incredibly difficult to source clean feedstock. The Toowong Process is a novel leaching technology that removes the arsenic at the mine-site, and then ‘fixes’ it in an environmentally-safe and stable form that enables final disposal at the mine site. The collaboration for the Toowong Process was formed when Core, as the inventor of the technology, formed a partnership for the development and commercialisation phase with Downer. This involved a two-year, AUS$2 million design and engineering work program to develop the technology to the stage where it is now ready for deployment.

Magotteaux Australia, Newcrest Mining, Manta Control and Hydrix

The flotation process relies upon selectively altering the surface chemical properties of one mineral over another to increase it hydrophobicity and improve its probability of colliding and attaching to a bubble so that it can be recovered into the concentrate. Unfortunately, there are very few direct measurements of chemistry made in concentrators today. Magotteaux had demonstrated that using an electrochemically inert grinding media changes the pulp and surface chemistry, the magnitude of which has been routinely measured in the laboratory. It was not a giant leap forward to develop an instrument to make the same measurements in a plant, continuously and in real time – which led to the creation of the pulp chemistry monitor (PCM). The PCM has been refined into a more robust unit with the assistance of Manta Controls and Hydrix.

Roy Hill and Maptek

The collaboration between Roy Hill and Maptek has provided Roy Hill’s mining technical services team with the space to be creative, innovative and generate new knowledge, ideas and insights – qualities which will drive the future success of the operation. The solution utilises deep learning intelligence algorithms, automation and cutting edge disruptive technologies to make work processes work for geologists (not the other way around), and in doing so enables the team to focus on analysis, critical thinking, idea generation and ultimately improve orebody knowledge and understanding. A significant shift in the paradigms around orebody modelling methodologies involved in achieving these outcomes has been realised as a result of this work. The combined outcomes of the program have realised a dramatic decrease in the amount of time taken for Roy Hill to process and classify datasets, build models and fill orebody knowledge gaps. Further, the ability to deploy a number of new and innovative techniques within those processes add significant value to the work of geologists, and the data they are working with.

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