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  • November 2020 - IMER supports gender equity and diversity in mining

    IMER supports diversity

    The Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources – Modern Energy Resources is supporting women to undertake degrees in mining technology through a number of initiatives led by the PRIF Consortium and the new ARC Training Centre for Integrated Operations for Complex Resources (IOCR) .

    The PRIF Consortium ‘Unlocking Complex Resources through Lean Processing is funding scholarships for ‘Women in Mining Technology’ at the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia, to grow the number of talented female students in engineering and technology and support female students in the completion of their educational goals. Selected students work together with high-profile academics, postdoctoral research fellows and higher degree by research candidates to address current challenges in the mining industry.

    Nine Women in Mining Technology Scholarships have been awarded in 2020: three Masters by coursework, two Bachelors students (advanced) at the University of Adelaide and four visiting students and winter scholarships at the University of South Australia. The students have been working on projects relevant to the Consortium’s objectives.

    The ARC Training Centre for Integrated Operations for Complex Resources is striving to improve diversity and gender equity within the Training Centre and mining industry sector by a range of activities such as:

    • Ensuring that the Training Centre operates within an inclusive, respectful and fair environment for all people;
    • Offering 16 higher degree by research scholarships with female applicants strongly encouraged to apply. To date, 4 of 7 scholarships awarded have been to females;
    • Appointing women on Training Centre Governing panels; the Executive Management, Advisory and Science Advisory Committees;
    • Establishing a working group with at least 50 % female membership to promote diversity and gender equality;
    • Providing industry training seminars from leading females in the mining sector;
    • Establishing a mentor program supported by a diverse range of leading people in the mining sector;
    • Providing gender equality and diversity training; 
    • Delivering cultural awareness and ethics training; and
    • Supporting a flexible and family friendly work environment.

    Dr Ruth Shaw, Manager of the ARC Training Centre for IOCR acknowledges that achieving diversity and gender equality in the mining industry sector remains a challenge, however is hopeful that such initiatives are making steps in the right direction.

    “We have strong intelligent female leaders in the mining industry and I have no doubt that these women will provide inspiration and support to the next generation of engineers and scientists. It’s an exciting time to be in STEM”, Dr Shaw said.

  • October 2020 - The Consortium Annual Assembly

    Oct Annual Assembly 2020

    The Consortium Annual Assembly was held successfully (1st - 2nd October 2020) at the University of Adelaide to allow Programs A and B presentations to run separately over a full day.

    The objective of the Annual Assembly was to give an overview of progress across all projects and share knowledge with industry partners. The event was well attended by industry, as well as by University of Adelaide and University of South Australia researchers.

    Positive feedback was received from Kathy Ehrig (BHP), Matthew Chong (State Government), Gavin Yeates (Chair of the Governing Board).

  • 23 September, 2020 - Nigel Cook is Australia's leader in geochemistry and mineralogy

    Prof Nigel Cook

    Congratulations to Professor Nigel Cook, who has been selected as a Life Sciences and Earth Sciences research field leader in Australia, for geochemistry and mineralogy. He joins a list of 30 Australian scholars, who have been named at the top of their life sciences’ fields.

    Professor Cook had the highest number of citations from papers published in the last five years in the top 20 journals in the geochemistry and mineralogy field. The University of Adelaide was also named as the top Australian research institution for geochemistry and mineralogy, along with microbiology. The top Australian research institution by field was also based on the most citations in the top 20 journals for the last five years.

    To see the complete list of top researchers and institutions and to learn more about Professor Nigel Cook and his research, read Jill Rowbotham’s special report in The Australian.

  • August 2020 - Spotlight on Frank Neumann

    Prof Frank Neumann

    Congratulations to Professor Frank Neumann, from the School of Computer Science, who has been awarded an ARC Future Fellowship for 2020.

    Professor Neumann, who is one of the Chief Investigators in Program A, with the Integrated Mining Consortium, was recently featured in ECMS Connect, the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences’ staff newsletter.

    What is your role here in ECMS?

    Professor in Computer Science and leader of the Optimisation and Logistics group.

    How long have you worked in ECMS/at the University of Adelaide?

    Almost 10 years.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    As for most academics, there is no typical day. It’s driven by the wide range of tasks and topics around teaching and research that are part of academic life.

    What is your favourite thing about what you do?

    Working with smart PhD students, Postdocs and international collaborators.

    What’s one thing that most people in the Faculty wouldn’t know about you?

    I brought over my skis from Germany ten years ago (but never used them in Australia!).

    What inspires you about research and what is your original approach here?

    Discovering new things that you haven’t thought about before.

    Approach: Give Postdocs and PhD students the freedom and support to pursuit their own ideas and build their careers.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    Stay safe and have fun in what you’re doing.

  • 21-22 July, 2020 - Consortium has two successful industry workshops

    consortium-collage

    The BHP – Program B and OZM - Program A digital workshops were successfully held on 21 and 22 July, respectively, with 73 participants in total. Both workshops were well attended by Consortium industry partners (BHP, OZM, Eka, Magotteaux, AMIRA), as well as by University of Adelaide and University of South Australia researchers.

    PhD students and Postdoctoral Fellows had the opportunity to overview and showcase their projects and promote some deeper discussions about the usefulness of their work. Everyone has agreed, the workshops were useful and all presentations were very informative, showing progress of the individual projects and the Consortium Program.

  • July 2020 - Adelaide mining research tops rankings

    mining-quarry

    The most recent Australian Research Council assessment of national research (ERA 2018) ranked Mining Engineering research at the University of Adelaide as number 1 in Australia - the only Mining Engineering research group to be ranked at the highest level (5) in the Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy classification.

    The prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU 2020) ranked Mining and Mineral Engineering at the University of Adelaide as number 7 in the World and number 2 in Australia.

    The University of South Australia’s mineral processing research was also ranked 5 in the Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy classification in ERA 2018.

  • 24 June, 2020 - ARC Training Centre scholarships available

    students at work

    Join the ARC Training Centre for Integrated Operations for Complex Resources and help deliver the vital enabling tools – advanced sensors, data analytics and Artificial Intelligence – for automated, integrated and optimised mining.

    There are 16 scholarships available that include an industry placement and offer a unique opportunity to work on industry-linked interdisciplinary projects with leading researchers and mining industry partners. For Project details and the application process please visit this link.   

  • June 2020 - Prof Peter Dowd elected President of the IAMG

    Prof Peter Dowd

    Professor Peter Dowd, Director of the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Integrated Operations for Complex Resources has been elected President of the International Association for the Mathematical Geosciences (IAMG) for a four-year term commencing September 2020.

    The IAMG promotes international cooperation in the application and use of mathematics in geological research and technology. The IAMG publishes four journals (Mathematical Geosciences; Computers and Geosciences; Natural Resources Research; and Applied Computing and Geosciences) that are widely regarded as the leading publications in the field of quantitative geosciences and in inter-disciplinary approaches to geoscience and natural resources research - geostatistics, computing, machine learning, optimisation, simulation, rapid resource modelling, data analytics and data integration. These topics align strongly with Professor Dowd’s research and the projects undertaken by the ARC Industrial Training Centre for Integrated Operations for Complex Resources, and the PRIF Integrated Mining Consortium, at the Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources.

    In addition, one of the annual IAMG Conferences, is likely to be held in Adelaide during Peter’s tenure, which will be a great opportunity for staff and students of the ARC Training Centre and the PRIF Consortium.

  • May 2020 - Spotlight on Nigel Cook

    Prof Nigel Cook

    Professor Nigel Cook, Director of the Integrated Mining Consortium, was featured in last week’s edition of ECMS Connect, the newsletter that connects staff from the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences.

    What is your role here in ECMS?

    •     Since 1st March 2020, member of CEME (formerly Chem. Eng.)
    •     Director, ARC Research Hub for Australian Copper-Uranium
    •     Director, PRIF Industry Consortium ‘Unlocking Complex Resources through Lean  Processing’
    •     Central role in the Institute of Mineral and Energy Resources (IMER) working to develop strategies and projects in the frontier area of ‘Critical Minerals’.

    How long have you worked in ECMS/at the University of Adelaide?

    In ECMS since January 2015, at UoA since August 2009.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    Life is never dull! Talking to industry partners, mentoring students from multiple disciplines, planning future initiatives within the IMER Group, and, almost always, a good dose of revising and editing manuscripts and abstracts and exchanging ideas on eclectic topics with people around the world.

    What is your favourite thing about what you do?

    I love my research, particularly seeing our talented young researchers explore the unknown and realise the significance and ‘big-picture’ implications of what they are doing. Most of my research is in collaboration with the minerals industry in S.A. – it is always satisfying when my industry colleagues can use research outcomes and see the relevance of research not only today but potentially in the distant future.

    What’s one thing that most people in the Faculty wouldn’t know about you?

    I have a BSc in Geochemistry and a PhD in Ore Deposit Geology. I was Editor-in-Chief of the journal ‘Ore Geology Reviews’ 2003-2011. Our two cats and one dog have been absolutely thrilled about the idea of working at home over the past six weeks.

    What inspires you about research and what is your original approach here?

    Joining ECMS with an earth science rather than an engineering background has given me a unique opportunity to apply a truly trans-disciplinary approach to everything I do, including undergraduate teaching. Working directly with researchers in at least five of the ECMS schools on a regular basis, plus others in the Faculty of Science, probably exposes me to more ideas and expertise than many at the university. This has been a tremendous opportunity enabling me to make connections that transcend traditional research areas. I am really privileged to be able to apply my mineralogy- geochemistry background to real-world problems at the interface of earth science, mineral processing, and microanalysis.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    Australia faces some difficult times ahead. I am confident that the minerals industry and innovative research within the broader ‘Minerals’ area are going to play a major role in keeping the economy strong. I hope that prospective students will consider the opportunities in a fascinating multi-discipline area with significant growth potential.

  • April 2020 - Working from home

    Zoom meeting

    We hope that everyone is working safely from home and not putting themselves at risk of catching COVID-19.

    If anyone sees additional delays to the Consortium projects, please, keep Nigel Cook and Tatiana Khmeleva informed, so we know what is happening and can talk to project sponsors and funding agencies.

    Thank you everyone for the high level of participation in the Consortium Zoom Meetings, effective presentations and constructive discussions.

    We should plan to work from home for up to 8 -10 weeks at this stage.

    For the time being, we will continue with fortnightly Zoom meetings on the following dates: 9 April, 23 April, 7 May, 21 May, 4 June, 18 June, 2 July, 16 July, 30 July etc.

  • March 2020 - The IMER office is closed

    IMER office contacts

    The IMER office is closed due to COVID-19.

    Staff are working from home. You can contact them by email or phone:

    Nigel Cook – 0405 826057

    nigel.cook@adelaide.edu.au

    Tatiana Khmeleva – 0466 924292

    tatiana.khmeleva@adelaide.edu.au

    Louise Beazley – 08 83131448

    louise.beazley@adelaide.edu.au

  • 13 December, 2019 - PRIF RCP annual assembly

    PRIF RCP annual assembly

    The Consortium Annual Assembly was held on 13 December 2019 in two adjoining lecture theatres at the University of Adelaide to allow Programs A and B to run presentations concurrently.

    The Annual Assembly objectives were to give an overview of progress across all projects, identify opportunities for synergy within and between programs, and to share ideas and knowhow, as well as to network with industry partners.

    CRC-Ore presented the Integrated Extraction Simulator (IES).

    The Annual Assembly was a successful meeting with good feedback from students, researchers and industry partners.

    The next Annual Assembly meeting is scheduled for 1 October 2020 and will follow the same format used in 2019.

  • November 2019 - Visit to Olympic Dam

    site visit

    UniSA researchers and Manta Controls had a successful visit to BHP Olympic Dam.

    The visit was hosted by Conor McCamley from BHP Olympic Dam and led by John Karageorgos, Managing Director of Manta Controls, with researchers Dr Richmond Asamoah and Kwaku Owusu from the University of South Australia.

    The aim of the visit was to locate a suitable area in the grinding circuit for installation of Manta Mic and Particle Size Monitor.

  • 28 - 31 October, 2019 - International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC)

    International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC)

    IMER delegates attended the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne representing the University of Adelaide.

    At the university booth attendees discussed the Integrated Mining Consortium and its aim to optimise each step of the mining value chain, using sensing, analytics and optimisation to increase efficiency, productivity and lower costs to make Australia’s mining industry globally competitive. Professor Peter Dowd gave a presentation about the ARC Training Centre for Integrated Operations for Complex Resources.

    IMARC is Australia’s largest mining event bringing together over 7,000 decision makers, mining leaders, policy makers, investors, commodity buyers, technical experts, innovators and educators from over 100 countries for four days of learning, deal-making and networking.

  • 14 October, 2019 - Extracting more value from mining

    digital strategy for mining

    The mining industry is highly complex and energy intensive. It takes a major investment at every stage to obtain good value from the time and effort expended.

    Our Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources (IMER) leads a consortium that examines the entire mining system, from identifying raw materials to taking the resulting product to market.

    The Integrated Mining Consortium develops, trials and commercialises technologies and techniques that promise to improve the process of gaining value from mineral deposits.

    The result will be to reduce waste and inefficiencies and increase profitability.

    Modern resource challenges are interdisciplinary, requiring a crossover of technical skills and sharing of information.

    One of the major challenges facing the mining industry is variability in the ore body.

    Advanced sensor technology will pick up and communicate information about its characteristics, allowing early decisions to be made about the worth of proceeding with a particular deposit.

    The key is integration of data from when the resource is still in the ground, right through the mining and processing stages.

    Analysis of data at every stage can feed back and forward along the chain to enable the best decisions to be made about how to proceed.

    The consortium also looks at automation in the mining industry, with a view to applying it to more areas of operation to improve safety and reduce costs.

    Modelling and simulation are important tools for decision makers to analyse and predict mining operations and plant performance. And recent advances in virtual and augmented reality offer opportunities to bring the models close to reality.

    The consortium brings together industry partners with university research expertise to meet the mining challenges of the future.

    A key outcome will be commercialising technologies for new global market opportunities, which also boosts the local economy.

    Integrating technological advances across each step of the process will optimise the whole system, enabling growth of economically critical mineral and energy resources industries in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner.

    Featured researcher

    Professor Nigel Cook
    Director Integrated Mining Consortium
    Deputy Director, Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources: Modern Energy Systems

    This article was first published on October 14, 2019 on the University of Adelaide web site.

  • 1-2 October, 2019 - Workshop on AI based optimisation

    data flow

    Consortium researchers attended the 2019 Workshop on AI-based Optimisation (AI-OPT 2019) in Melbourne.

    Professor Frank Neumann, from the School of Computer Science, at the University of Adelaide, participated in the organisation of the workshop with Professor Uwe Aickelin, Head of the School of Computing and Information Systems, at the University of Melbourne.

    Dr Markus Wagner, Hirad Assimi, Yue Xie and Dr Aneta Neumann presented their research:

    Markus Wagner: Simple On-the-Fly Parameter Selection Mechanisms for Two Classical Discrete Black-Box Optimization Benchmark Problems

    Hirad Assimi, Oscar Harper, Yue Xie, Aneta Neumann and Frank Neumann: Pareto Optimization for the Dynamic Chance-Constrained Knapsack Problem Based on Tail Bound Objectives

    Yue Xie, Oscar Harper, Hirad Assimi, Aneta Neumann and Frank Neumann: Evolutionary Algorithms for the Chance-Constrained Knapsack Problem

    Aneta Neumann, Wanru Gao, Markus Wagner and Frank Neumann: Evolutionary Diversity Optimization Using Multi-Objective Indicators

  • 3-4 September, 2019 - Visit to Olympic Dam

    Olympic Dam mine site

    UniSA researchers and Magotteaux visited BHP Olympic Dam on the 3th to 4th September 2019.

    The visit was hosted by Conor McCamley from BHP Olympic Dam and led by Chris Greet, Manager Metallurgy - Minerals Processing Research at Magotteaux, with researchers Dr Richmond Asamoah and Bismark Amankwaa-Kyeremeh from the University of South Australia.

    The aim of the visit was to locate a suitable area in the flotation circuit for the installation of a Pulp Chemistry Monitor (PCM®).

  • 27 August, 2019 - Shaping the future of Australia's mining operations

    mining conveyor belt

    The University of Adelaide will lead a new national mining research and training centre utilising advanced technologies that will help to shape the future of Australia’s mining operations.

    The Australian Government today announced $3.7 million funding for the new Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Integrated Operations for Complex Resources.

    Funded with another $2 million plus $6.8 million in-kind support from research and industry organisations, the $12.5 million centre will deliver enabling tools and train the next generation of scientists and engineers in advanced sensors, data analytics and artificial intelligence to increase value in mining and processing of complex resources.

    Professor Mike Brooks, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) of the University of Adelaide, has welcomed today’s funding announcement.

    “Underpinned by world-leading research, our new, high-tech training centre will help to shape the very future of mining operations in Australia,” Professor Brooks says.

    “Combining our expertise in advanced sensors, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the new centre will deliver vital tools, training and workforce needs to help ensure Australia and key industry players lead the world.

    “The new centre’s work directly aligns with the University of Adelaide’s industry engagement priorities in energy, mining, and resources, which are critical to the economic and technological success of South Australia and the nation.”

    The new Training Centre will:
    • Help enable the mining industry to make real-time decisions and apply the correct and most cost-effective parameters or processes at any point in the mining value chain, avoiding costly unnecessary processes
    • Bring step-change increases in productivity via network connectivity and high-speed computation
    • Focus on maximising value by optimising productivity and product quality, the outcome of which has the greatest potential to deliver the largest economic gains.

    Lead Investigator Professor Peter Dowd, Professor of Mining Engineering at the University of Adelaide, says the Training Centre addresses critical needs of the mining industry through its focus on sensors, data analytics and artificial intelligence – a knowledge priority area for the industry.

    “This funding award recognises the world-leading concentration of mining research in South Australia, placing us at the forefront of developments that will transform the mining and processing of complex resources,” Professor Dowd says.

    “Australia has a unique opportunity to become a world leader in integrated mining, and a hub for mining equipment, technology and services.”

    The Training Centre will be housed within the University of Adelaide’s Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources. Other participants in the Training Centre include the University of South Australia, Curtin University and 22 industry and government organisations.

    This article was first published on the University of Adelaide news and events website on Tuesday 27 August 2019.

     

  • July 2019 - Visit to Prominent Hill

    visit to Prominent Hill

    Program A participants Hu Wang, Junjie Zhang and Associate Professor Max Zanin from the University of Adelaide, Andrew Harris from Consilium Technology and Michael Kalicinski from Scantech made a site trip to Prominent Hill. The objective of the visit was to let Consortium researchers and translation partners to understand the mill sorting process on-site, set preliminary project objectives and plans, as well as to conduct initial discussions with end-users regarding obtaining training data.

  • 23 August, 2018 - New research consortium boost to mining sector

    digital strategy for mining

    Advanced technologies, including the Industrial Internet of Things, will be used by a new research consortium being launched today to help boost South Australia’s copper production and develop a globally competitive mining technology services sector in the state.

    Led by the University of Adelaide, the $14.6 million Research Consortium – Unlocking Complex Resources through Lean Processing – brings together a range of mining sector and research partners, supported by $4 million over four years from the State Government’s Research Consortia Program.

    “One of the key challenges facing the mining industry is the variability in the ore body being mined,” says Professor Stephen Grano, Director of the University of Adelaide’s Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources, and Director of the new Consortium.

    “We’ll be developing advanced technologies to tailor the mining and processing options to the specific characteristics of the mineral ore in real-time – an approach known as lean processing.

    “The key will be integration of data from when the resource is still in the ground, right through the mining and processing stages. We’ll be using data analytics and machine learning, enabling the whole system to be optimised rather than optimising isolated parts.”

    South Australian Minister for Industry and Skills the Hon. David Pisoni says: “This project is a great example of researchers, industry, manufacturers, and start-ups working together to apply new industrial Internet of Things technology to drive innovation and increase the productivity of our resources sector.”

    One of the first steps will be the establishment of a secure data room within the University’s School of Computer Science with direct data feeds from sensors set up within existing commercial mining operations. That will allow analysis in real time and in comparison to historical data.

    Within the first 18 months, the consortium aims to be able to justify the capital cost of a system of conveyor belt sensors to allow mass ore sorting; and, in another project, to have set up a working system of sensors installed within grinding mills to maximise throughput while still meeting product specifications.

    University of Adelaide Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Mike Brooks says: “By bringing together industry partners with university research expertise we are able to leverage the great strengths of each partner to address these significant industry challenges.

    “These outcomes will enable more sustainable mining and reduced environmental impacts.

    “But it won’t be just the mining industry that will benefit. A key outcome will be commercialising technologies for new global market opportunities – that means growth and new jobs for the State,” Professor Brooks says.

    The other Consortium industry, government and supporting partners are: BHP, OZ Minerals, AMIRA International, Australian Information Industries Association (AIIA) IoT Cluster for Mining and Energy Resources, Australian Semi-Conductor Technology Company, Boart Longyear, Consilium Technology, CRC Optimise Resource Extraction, Datanet, Data to Decisions CRC, Eka, Innovyz, Magotteaux, Manta Controls, Maptek, METS Ignited Industry Growth Centre, Mine Vision Systems, Rockwell Automation, SACOME, SAGE Automation, Sandvik, Scantech, South Australian Mining Industry Participation Office (SA MIPO), SRA IT and Thermo Fisher Scientific Australia (Processing Instruments & Equipment), with the University of South Australia as a key research partner.

    The Consortium partners acknowledge also the financial support of the South Australian Mining and Petroleum Services Centre of Excellence.

    This article was first published on the University of Adelaide's news and events page on August 23, 2018.