30 January 2017

The Australian Research Council has backed three projects led by The University of Queensland to deliver innovative solutions to the resources sector with $1.2 million in competitive funding announced today.

UQ secured three of the four grants announced by the ARC under the continuous Linkage Projects scheme.

The projects will also receive cash and in-kind contributions from respected industry partners.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robyn Ward said UQ’s continued success in Linkage Projects was evidence not only of the calibre of its researchers but also the direct relevance of projects to industry needs.

“UQ’s expertise in mineral resources and mining is ranked well within the top 50 in a number of key global rankings and as high as 10 in the QS World Rankings by Subject,” Professor Ward said.

“Importantly, our researchers are committed to working with industry to translate that expertise into practical solutions that benefit industry, society, the environment and the economy.”

“I congratulate the researchers who were successful in securing funding and wish them well in their important work to create change in the resources sector.”

The three successful projects will all be led by researchers in UQ’s School of Chemical Engineering:

  • Associate Professor Yongjun Peng and his team received $550,000 for research aimed at achieving more efficient and economical mineral separation and metal extraction. The project seeks to help the mining industry by understanding reactions taking place on the major gangue (waste) during the recovery of base-metal and precious minerals and by developing new technologies to manipulate these reactions. The project will involve close collaboration with UQ’s Sustainable Minerals Institute. Industry partners include Newcrest Mining Limited, Vega Industries and Sierra Gorda SCM.
  • Dr Steven Pratt and his team received $450,000 for a project to advance knowledge of Coal Seam Gas (CSG) water treatment to deliver direct economic and environmental benefits. CSG offers significant economic potential but its production generates huge quantities of saline water that must be treated. The project addresses a fundamental challenge of CSG - mitigating scaling at water treatment facilities. Industry partners include QGC, Australia Pacific LNG Pty Limited, Santos Ltd, Arrow Energy Pty Ltd and Wastewater Futures Pty Ltd.
  • Professor Peter Hayes and Professor Evgueni Jak received $195,000 for a project with BHP Billiton to provide fundamental technical information on the behaviour of different iron ores. Australia is a major exporter of iron ore, contributing substantially to the economy and to export income. The information attained by the project can be used by industry to support the development of current and future Australia iron ore exports, assist with mine planning and optimisation, support marketing of iron ore products and minimise waste of valuable mineral resources.

Media: UQ Communications, communications@uq.edu.au, +7 3351120.