Tag Archives: University of Western Australia

Fortescue backs Pilbara mine site rehabilitation CRC project

The Cooperative Research Centre for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC TiME), along with partners Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue), University of Western Australia (UWA) and Curtin University (Curtin), have announced a new project focusing on increasing plant nutrients in iron ore waste, enabling improved mine site rehabilitation in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The 12-month project is centred around the Fortescue’s Chichester Hub mine site and includes experimental glasshouse-based and laboratory testing undertaken at UWA, along with microbiology expertise from Curtin.

“The Pilbara region has a very thin layer of top soil which is essential for plant growth and is disrupted through mining,” CRC TiME said. “This project will formulate a process to increase plant available nutrient levels, specifically nitrogen for this study, in mineral waste (waste rock and tailings) and stockpiled soils (subsoils and topsoil) using novel plant-microbe systems, to improve the rehabilitation post-mining.”

Kirsty Beckett, Principal of Mine Closure at Fortescue, said: “This project is addressing a critical issue for the mining industry as available topsoil is a key limiting factor in the rehabilitation of large tracts of mining affected land. These areas can cover up to half of some of the Fortescue’s mine sites.”

CRC TiME CEO, Dr Guy Boggs, added: “Post-mining landscapes require the establishment of self-sustaining ecosystems over heavily altered landscapes constructed from mineral waste. Effectively and efficiently converting these landscapes into self-sustaining ecosystems delivers both environmental and financial benefits and provides more certainty on ecosystem resilience.”

CRC TiME receives grant funding from the Australian Government through the Cooperative Research Centre Program.

Roy Hill backs interoperability developments with ERDi TestLab membership

Iron ore miner Roy Hill has become the latest member of the University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Energy & Resources Digital Interoperability Industry 4.0 (ERDi i4.0) TestLab.

Roy Hill is committed to the development of interoperability within the resources industry and recently appointed Michael Waller to a new role – Interoperability Manager – to lead the company’s strategy and engagement, according to the TestLab.

In the few short weeks since Michael’s appointment, Roy Hill’s interoperability approach has progressed at a rapid rate, with Waller spearheading the establishment of a collaborative interoperability project within the TestLab, it added.

This new project will be sponsored by ERDi TestLab founding partner METS Ignited, and centres around interoperability in the mobile equipment execution management and control technology space across both manual and automated equipment, it said.

“We are thrilled to be working with Roy Hill and the other participants on this exciting project, more details of which will be announced soon,” it added.

Roy Hill’s interoperability streak was made clear earlier this year when it signed an agreement with Epiroc and ASI Mining to deliver a fully automated solution for the iron ore mining operation’s mixed fleet of 77 haul trucks.

Other companies to recently sign up to the TestLab include Trevali, RPMGlobal and ABB.

Qtec, Wallis and UWA granted cash to expand real-time drill and assay technology

The Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science recently announced that the joint venture (JV) between Qtec, Wallis Drilling and the University of Western Australia has been awarded a three‑year grant from the Cooperative Research Centres Program (CRC-P) up to the value of A$2.8 million ($2 million).

Qteq, as the award recipients with Wallis and UWA as the JV partners, were awarded the grant for development of a real-time communications and downhole power generation system to be used with Qteq’s existing fleet of Measurement While Drilling instruments.

Following the initial phase of the project, the JV will work on developing Logging While Drilling tools that include nuclear magnetic resonance and spectroscopy, Qtec said.

The completed project will deliver the ability to provide real-time assay and moisture content during the reverse circulation drilling process, according to the company.

Qtec Chief Technology Officer, Dr Tim Hopper, said: “The ability to acquire assay and moisture content whilst drilling will dramatically change the face of minerals drilling in Australia. The cost and time reduction to clients is significant, with miners no longer needing to wait months to get cutting samples analysed before they can make decisions.

“When combined with the Wallis Drilling 300RC Autonomous Rig, the industry takes a step closer to achieving the ability to remotely drill and assay holes, with staff being able to monitor and direct operations remotely,” he said. “The mine of the future takes another step forward.”

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s CRC-P aims to improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries, especially where Australia has a competitive strength and is in line with government priorities, according to Qtec.

“While the programme wishes to foster high-quality research to solve industry-identified problems through industry‑led and outcome-focused collaborative research partnerships between industry entities and research organisations, it also aims to encourage and facilitate small and medium enterprise participation in collaborative research,” the company added.

With the award of the grant, the Western Australia-based JV will be looking to further promote the use of high-quality, high-technology equipment in the mining industry which it hopes will further encourage WA’s highly skilled workforce to consider a career in this usually “low-tech industry”, Qtec said.

Qteq’s recently appointed Chief Executive Officer, Ewan Meldrum, said: “The development of this new, advanced logging system will support Australia in becoming a world leader in the commercialisation of mining technology and services.”