Researchers from the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) have signed an agreement with mining companies Glencore, Anglo American, Newcrest Mining, Newmont Mining and Aeris Resources to form a consortium to improve the energy efficiency of mineral processing.

Under the agreement, the Collaborative Consortium for Coarse Particle Processing Research (CPR) will operate initially for a period of five years.

The consortium is aimed at improving the energy efficiency of mineral processing operations.

SMI director and professor Neville Plint said: “This consortium brings together depth and breadth of expertise and significant technical skill, and it shows the willingness of industry to work closely with university researchers to tackle complex problems and have an impact.

“The team in JKMRC have worked hard and consulted with all our industry partners to create this important forum.”

This consortium will handle “multidisciplinary aspects of coarse particle processing” such as flotation, comminution, classification, as well as equipment design and process chemistry.

It will as well help towards addressing global challenges such as reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and human-made climate change mitigation.

Newmont director of processing Dr Ronel Kappes said the company had identified CPR to be an important technology to boost the efficiency of future processing.

Kappes added: “The UQ CPR Consortium project is an important step in technology development in order to leverage future CPR applications.”

Last month, the consortium conducted its first technical workshop.