The growth in global demand for resources presents a diabolical challenge for the minerals industry: the need to accommodate this demand while addressing the declining grade of the more accessible ore bodies, increasing complexity of the mineralogy, and the increasing need to extract the minerals from deeper mines. The recovery and concentration of particles of high metallurgical value, known as beneficiation, is based on relatively mature paradigms, reflecting an industry that has evolved gradually over more than a century with a conservative and risk-averse culture. This means that for the industry to meet global demands for renewable energy, clean cities and smart electronics, new methods of mineral processing are needed.
Our Centre is focused on the immediate, medium, and longer-term horizons of the industry. These perspectives are crucial given the pressing needs of today and the realisation that new knowledge, capability and innovation need to be assembled in parallel over the longer term. Strong two-way communication ensures the Centre is aware of the opportunities within the industry, and the industry is aware of the Centre’s capabilities. The Centre operates through an evolving portfolio of technologies, with new disclosures entering the pipeline and existing technologies progressing to higher technology readiness levels. Researchers cannot transform the sector, but can enable its transformation by creating value propositions through collaboration to harness “the possible”, through step-change improvements and solutions to intractable problems. Ultimately, we are driven by our overarching central mission to reduce energy and water consumption while maximising mineral resource recovery and product grade.