Australian scientist heads international mining research centre

Disinfectant, Rust Remover, Radiator CoolantImproving energy efficiency and scientific research in mining has been the impetus for a new project between Australia and Chile. A new research centre in Chile will help address common environmental and technological challenges. This latest example of mining innovation and teamwork is a step forward for the green revolution.

A leading Australian CSIRO scientist will head a new international mining and research processing centre to be based in Santiago, Chile.

Dr Neal Wai Poi has been appointed to lead the project, which was developed by the CSIRO in collaboration with the University of Chile and the Chile International Centre of Excellence in Mining and Mineral Processing.

He said he welcomed the opportunity to help tackle some of the common challenges faced by mining industries in Australia and Chile.

“Australia and Chile have many common current and future challenges that their mining industries need to address,” he said.

“These include processing lower-grade ores, improving water and energy efficiency in remote areas and deeper open-cut and underground operations.

“The Centre for Excellence will have extensive benefits for Australia, including creating new bilateral business opportunities for service companies, improving the efficiency and competitiveness of the industry and advancing scientific research.”

Leading the way

The Australian mining industry has been recognised as world leaders in new technologies and developing environmental standards. Recent innovations include:

  • Research showing mining waste can be used to filter water;
  • Reduced water and soil contamination through the use of eco-friendly industrial liquids;
  • Dust reduction (using wetting agents such as the Extreme Green Dust Suppressor/Soil Wetta);

In an address to the mining industry in June, Opposition leader Tony Abbott applauded its commitment to innovation.

“The Australian mining industry is a world leader at observing the best environmental standards, we are setting new standards in environmental care and concern and increasingly the mining industry is deeply respectful of indigenous culture,” he said.

Despite these commendations, the mining industry continues to come under scrutiny for environmental breaches and disasters.

The high-risk sector needs continued research and the foundation of a new international centre in Chile offers hope of better environmental and health outcomes.

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