Mineral Characterisation and Processing
Research in mineral characterisation and processing investigates naturally occurring chemical compounds’ and processed materials’ physical and chemical properties, and potential economic benefits. This includes exploring their identification, separation, transportation, processing, recycling, and end-of-life operations.
Our Mineral Characterisation and Processing researchers are particularly focused on:
- exploring minerals’ fundamental nature at the nanoscale
- developing new research and interdisciplinary approaches to aid the resource exploration, mining, minerals processing and manufacturing sectors
- developing lean processing technologies for the digital era, to enable smarter and faster decision-making.
Our Mineral Characterisation and Processing research supports sectors vital to the Australian economy.
It enables the mining and mineral processing industries to achieve sustainability through optimised practice, based on high-quality data and information at all stages in the value chain—from exploration to extraction, and processing to waste management.
Our Mineral Characterisation and Processing researchers aim to:
- generate fundamental knowledge on the diversity of resources, from mineral deposits to materials currently considered waste
- optimise complex ores’ processing through their detailed characterisation at appropriate scales of observation
- develop transformational technologies to generate clean concentrates and minimise waste
- identify potential new resources, particularly metals critical for future energy generation, and develop innovative technologies for their exploitation
- develop and apply modern laser-based technologies for in situ chemical detection and sensing
- contribute to automated sensing, interpretation and data integration in mineral exploration drilling processes and geotechnical work flows
- provide information and insight to facilitate safer and more environmentally friendly mineral handling.
Our research is frequently cited and widely endorsed by the international mineral deposits, mineralogy, geochemistry and geometallurgical communities.
It is also highly valued by industry end-users in South Australia and beyond—including water utilities, oil and gas SMEs and some of the world’s largest mining operations—and has had numerous real-world applications. For example, our researchers’:
- integrated waste management valorisation and services are applied by numerous businesses and organisations across multiple industrial sectors
- outputs through the ARC Research Hub for Australian Copper-Uranium contribute significantly to clean copper-concentrate production
- technologies and protocols for resource characterisation at the micron- to nanoscale are internationally acclaimed and widely followed
- new mineral geochronometers enable accurate formation age determination where not previously possible
- understanding of so-called ‘critical metals’ distribution in nature now underpins their exploration and exploitation.
We are regularly called on to consult with and advise the Australian and international: mineral exploration, mining, and minerals engineering industries; water and wastewater industries; and re-refining oil industry. This includes on:
- resource characterisation
- mineral deposit formation
- resource assessment
- mineral exploration
- mineral processing
- sustainable product development.
We have expertise across a wide range of areas. Many of our researchers are available to assist with research project supervision for Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy students.
We collaborate with various industry and government organisations, including:
- BHP Olympic Dam
- Boart Longyear
- Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation, and Analysis, University of Western Australia
- Flinders University
- John de Laeter Centre, Curtin University
- Melbourne Water Corporation
- Monash University
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), British Geological Survey, Keyworth (UK)
- OZ Minerals
- SA Water
- SRA Information Technology
- Southern Oil Refining Group of Companies
- University of Queensland
To enquire about consulting services or working with us on a research project, please contact: