Three research projects of the University of Queensland (UQ) have secured grants totalling $1.2m from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to deliver solutions for the resources sector.
The funding has been provided under the Linkage Projects scheme, which promotes research partnerships between industry, business, educational institutions, and governments.
The QC projects will also secure further contributions from industry partners.
UQ received three of the four grants from the ARC under the scheme.
Deputy vice-chancellor (research) professor Robyn Ward noted that UQ’s success in Linkage Projects showed direct relevance of projects for industry needs.
Ward added: “UQ’s expertise in mineral resources and mining is ranked well within the top 50 in a number of key global rankings and as high as ten in the QS World Rankings by subject.”
The three projects are led by engineers from the university’s School of Chemical Engineering.
Of the three projects, one is led by associate Professor Yongjun Peng. This project received $550,000 to develop mineral separation and metal extraction process that is more efficient and economical.
This project aims to help the mining industry gain a better understanding of the reactions taking place in waste during recovery of base-metal and precious minerals, and develop new technologies to manipulate these reactions. It will see involvement of industry partners, including Newcrest Mining and Vega Industries.
The second project is led by Dr Steven Pratt. It gained $450,000 to advance knowledge of coal seam gas (CSG) water treatment processes. This project aims to address a basic challenge of CSG, reducing scaling at water treatment facilities. It will see involvement of industry partners including Santos and Australia Pacific LNG.
The third project is led by professors Peter Hayes and Evgueni Jak. It was awarded $195,000 for collaboration with BHP Billiton to offer basic technical information on the behaviour of different iron ores.
This information can be used to help reduce waste, aid mine planning and optimisation, and support development of present and future Australian iron ore exports.