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Mining companies and local researchers team up to drive innovation


A $14 million research consortium will explore how new technologies and the Internet of Things may improve efficiencies and opportunities for South Australia’s mining sector.

The State Government will contribute $4 million over four years through the Research Consortia Program to support collaboration between mining companies and local researchers.

The project will help mining companies boost business performance and productivity, eliminate unnecessary costs and waste, and anticipate machinery failures, using new technologies such as the Internet of Things, data analytics and sensors.

Led by the University of Adelaide, the consortium is set to create new research positions, drive international collaborations and promote the expansion of the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector in South Australia, potentially attracting new businesses and startups to the state.

Director of the Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources at the University of Adelaide, Professor Stephen Grano said the new consortium will allow them to look at copper mining across the value chain from the resource in the ground through mining and processing to enable the whole system to be optimised, for much greater potential gain than by simply optimising isolated parts.

“It will leverage the existing research strengths across the University of Adelaide as well as those from our partners, including in advanced sensing, data analytics, modelling, optimisation, geoscience, mining and processing, to enable this whole-of-value-chain approach,” said Professor Grano.

“The project will deliver significant outcomes including major technology advancements in areas such as rapid sensing, tracking, interpretation and data analytics, producing the tools, for instance, for rapid decisions in processing to maximise efficiencies and optimise value. Technologies will be commercialised for the global market.”

The mineral research consortium will be delivered in partnership between researchers at the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia, OZ Minerals, BHP Billiton, Australian Information Industries Association (AIIA) Mineral and Energy Resources IoT Cluster and supporting partners.

Applications for the second round of the Research Consortia Program are now open. For information and to apply, visit www.innovation.sa.gov.au/opportunity/research-consortia-program.

Image Caption: The new research consortium will put South Australia in a unique position to attract world-leading researchers, industry, manufacturers and start-ups.

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