A new sponsorship partnership between the Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC) and the University of Adelaide’s Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources (IMER) will, CEEC says, enhance greater opportunities for innovation in the resources sector.
IMER operates at the international forefront of the mineral, energy and resource sectors, with 200 of the world’s experts working with business and government on industry-led, challenge-based projects, according to CEEC.
Welcoming the sponsorship agreement, CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh, said both organisations valued the role of innovation in sustainable mining.
“IMER is a leading research and development institute that aims to meet global mining and energy challenges with multidisciplinary solutions, advancing our progress towards modern energy systems,” she said. “CEEC’s mission is to share mining practices that improve energy efficiency, reduce costs, enhance shareholder value and help businesses achieve sustainability targets.
“A collaboration with IMER offers the opportunity to share insights from research across disciplines with potential to revolutionise the mineral and energy resources sector.”
IMER Manager, Dr Chris Matthews, said CEEC had actively contributed to accelerating innovation in the mining sector with a collaborative project stemming from a CEEC workshop.
“After involvement in CEEC’s workshop, we forged new collaborations, including an exciting industry partnership which plans to trial the use of solar thermal energy to enhance comminution,” Dr Matthews said.
“Comminution reduces solid materials to a smaller average particle size, by crushing, grinding, cutting, vibrating, or other processes. Solar thermal heat can weaken rocks, reducing the need for fossil fuel-derived mechanical energy traditionally used to crush and grind rocks, making it a more environmentally sustainable alternative.
“IMER has developed a process where heat is provided by concentrated solar thermal, which data has shown could reduce comminution energy by up to 50%. The potential to improve energy efficiency in this project is just one example of the alignment between IMER’s research on low cost, low emissions energy and CEEC’s vision.”
Interim Director of IMER, Professor Michael Goodsite, said IMER aims to progress society towards modern energy systems required for decarbonisation and the transition to a net-zero emissions energy future.
“Innovation in the processing and comminution of the raw materials required for renewable electricity generation and transmission will help us achieve better outcomes for Australia and our world. I look forward to seeing continued value-adding outcomes from this important collaboration,” he said.
Keogh said IMER had already contributed important insights to industry, with experts sharing potential transformational opportunities using solar beam-down technologies for a range of industrial processes. She said potential ground-breaking technologies were the focus of the International Forum on Zero Carbon High Temperature Minerals Processing, which was held in Adelaide, South Australia, from March 16-18.
“IMER’s sponsorship support enhances CEEC’s work to share exciting new innovation relevant to mineral processing and comminution,” she said. “We are a not-for-profit group, entirely funded by sponsorship from the minerals industry. We have a strong network and a focus on sharing energy-efficient, lower-footprint comminution and processing practices. Sponsorship from IMER and others helps CEEC connect leading thinkers through our global network and workshops, to promote best practice and innovation.”