Our research

We have a proven track record in attracting funding and delivering results for business.

  • Internationally significant grants

    Solar thermal energy


      Introducing renewable solar thermal power into alumina processing to reduce CO2 emissions and lower the cost of alumina production.

      ARC Research Hub for Australian Copper-Uranium

      Developing and testing new, cost-effective ways to remove non-target metals from copper concentrates.

      • $11.6 million project ($2.5 million from ARC)
      • Lead: IMER
      • 3 industry partners
      • 7 research partners
      Energy storage solutions

      Developing an online Australian energy storage bank and building a mobile energy storage test facility.


      Image courtesy of the CSIRO

      Transforming Australia into a global leader in concentrated solar thermal and thermal storage technologies.

      Iron Oxide (FOX) Research Program


      FOX Project

      Investigating iron oxides to help understand how iron ores are formed and transformed.

      • $1.9 million project
      • Lead: IMER
      • 4 industry partners
      • 3 research partners
    • Research enabling industry

      Enviro Copper


      Could minerals be unearthed without active mining?

      EnviroCopper is assessing the potential to recover stranded mineral deposits from the ground with minimal invasive mining. By creating a 3D hydrogeological model of the historic Kapunda copper-gold mine area, the team is devising an approach for in-situ recovery (ISR) of copper and gold in an innovative new way.

      IMER brings expertise in geomechanical and geological modelling, and geophysical site characterisation to the project. Extensive groundwater environmental modelling is being undertaken to ensure risk management for regulators and the surrounding community.

      Social License to Operate is imperative in modern day mining projects and sociologists from CSIRO have reported positive results from their focus groups and interviews on the town's acceptance of a renewed mining industry.

      Once demonstrated at Kapunda, the approach could be extended to similar deposits around Australia and the world. Funded under a CRC Project Grant, the team comprises Environmental Copper Recovery, Thor Mining, Terramin Exploration, Mining3, CSIRO and IMER researchers.


      Solar Hybrid Receiver Combustor

      First to Investigate Combining Gas and Solar Thermal Combustor Technologies

      The Centre for Energy Technology is developing a chemical looping combustion system that can be used in conjunction with solar thermal systems. The Hybrid Solar Receiver Combustor (HSRC) aims to address the challenges of intermittent solar radiation, reduce storage costs for solar thermal power, and increase the economic viability of this sort of technology for baseload power. CET is also the first to investigate a solar vortex reactor to deliver heat to industrial processes from solar radiation.

      Disruptive 4D Technology
      4D Technology to Image Fluids in Earth's Crust.

      First to Develop Disruptive 4D Technology to Image Fluids in Earth’s Crust

      The monitoring of how fluids such as water and gas move during gas production is usually done using expensive observation wells and microseismic networks. The 4D geophysics technique being developed by the Electrical Earth Imaging Group is changing all that.

      Upper Crust Modelling
      Upper Crust Modelling.

      Imaging the ‘Fingers of God’

      Check out this amazing image showing the source rocks for some of the biggest mineral deposits in South Australia. Proudly developed by the Electrical Earth Imaging Group.

      Gold in the rock

      First to Show Correlation Between Microorganisms and Presence of Metals

      Could nature provide solutions to one of the mining industry's biggest global challenges? Nature Magazine recently covered this amazing story, in which bacteria associated with the presence of gold in mines are being investigated.

      Thermochemical energy storage

      First to Track Mineralisation Through Ancient Fluid Flows in SA

      The Mawson Geo Centre team in conjunction with the Geological Survey of South Australia and DET CRC are using thermochronometric techniques to test the timing of fluid movement along faults in the Gawler Craton which holds the majority of our mineral deposits. This technique could become a new, cheap and efficient way to target mineralisation and open up new mineral targets across South Australia.

      Australian Lithospheric Architecture Magnetotelluric Project (AusLAMP)

      First to Image South Australia’s Lithosphere, On Track for Continent Map

      The Australian Lithospheric Architecture Magnetotelluric Project (AusLAMP) is mapping the footprint of world-class mineral deposits and investigating their source using magnetotellurics (MT), which measures electrical resistivity. Electrical resistivity is influenced by heat, fluids and mineral types, so these data gives rise to a 3D map of the Earth’s architecture and geological history. The team has begun surveying the continent on a 55 km grid pattern, with most of South Australia already mapped.

    • Award-winning scientists

      The Electrical Earth Imaging Group won the Shell Innovation Challenge – Minerals and Energy Award in 2013 for their 4D geophysical mapping technology.

      Yohannes Didana, a PhD candidate in the South Australian Centre for Geothermal Energy Research won the award for best poster at the 2015 World Geothermal Congress. Yohannes will hold this prestigious title for the next five years until the next Congress in Iceland in 2020.

      The University of Adelaide secured competitive funding from the Minerals Council of Australia to develop the National Exploration Undercover School (NExUS)—a place where 30 of the best students from around Australia can meet and work with mineral exploration leaders from industry, government and research institutions.

    • Want to know more?

      The IMER Annual Report contains all our recent highlights and research news.

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