26th October 2022
Newcastle Herald Media Coverage - COEMinerals Director Kevin Galvin says new Govt initiatives will complement the Centre's existing research and collaboration.
University of Newcastle’s critical minerals research to benefit from expansion of sector
October 26 2022 — 8:30am
BY MATTHEW KELLY
WORLD-LEADING minerals processing research based at the University of Newcastle will get a boost from the federal government’s expansion of Australia’s mining science technology for critical minerals.
The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Enabling Eco-Efficient Beneficiation of Minerals’ (CEO Minerals) — a project involving nine Australian universities – is located in Newcastle.
The government announced more than $100 million in new programs last week to support early and mid-stage critical minerals projects. It builds on $50 million recently committed to six key projects across Australia.
COEMinerals director Laureate Professor Kevin Galvin said the new initiatives would complement the centre’s existing research and collaboration.
“Our world-first research projects and technology are transforming minerals processing by reducing water, waste and energy during the separation process, and sustainably-recovering more highly concentrated amounts of mineral commodities, including rare earths,” Mr Galvin said.
“As a centre, we look forward to further engagement with government via The Critical Minerals Development Program, and to our ongoing contribution to enabling positive, transformative change in the minerals sector.”
A delegation of European minerals sustainability experts visited Newcastle earlier this month. They discussed new a technology, the ‘Reflux” Flotation Cell, which is tipped to have significant implications for the extraction of critical minerals. The device significantly improves mineral separation methods, many of which have remained unchanged for more than 50 years.
The technology reduces the environmental footprint of the minerals processing stage where critical minerals are separated from the surrounding ore, known as ‘beneficiation’.