Queensland’s future in bauxite and alumina processing has been strengthened thanks to a partnership between The University of Queensland (UQ) and Rio Tinto Alcan, one of the world’s leading bauxite and alumina producers.
UQ today announced the establishment of the UQ RTA Bauxite and Alumina Technical Centre which will see Rio Tinto Alcan provide a minimum of $2 million to the University over the next five years to further enhance UQ’s capacity for metallurgical engineering research.
Market economic forces are driving a huge demand for bauxite and alumina globally, with exports to China alone expected to almost double before 2020.
The partnership provides the opportunity for UQ to engage with the worldwide alumina industry and build on its already established capabilities through undertaking fundamental and applied research, and continuing professional education.
General Manager of Rio Tinto Alcan’s Bauxite and Alumina Research and Development area, Mr Steve Healy said partnering with research organisations such as UQ-enabled the company to continue to deliver world-class technology solutions for bauxite, alumina and aluminium through its ‘Open Innovation’ strategy.
“Some of the challenges our business faces on a daily basis could be greatly mitigated by improvements in alumina production technology,” Mr Healy said.
“Partnering with UQ to deliver wins in this area is now more than ever a key part of staying competitive.”
Leader of UQ’s metallurgical engineering program, Professor Peter Hayes said this partnership will enable the University to develop a long term collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan.
“We foresee this partnership in providing important fundamental information needed by the alumina industry,” Professor Hayes said.
“This will allow for the improvement in resource utilisation, energy efficiency, productivity and environmental performance,” he said.
Media: Madelene Flanagan (firstname.lastname@example.org or + 61 7 3365 8525) or Rio Tinto Alcan Manager, Media and Communications Ian McGoldrick (+ 61 7 3625 4445 or + 61 0407 211 900)