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More complex and lower grade orebodies, combined with higher energy costs and the need for a lower environmental footprint, are driving the development of advanced methods of processing to transform low value deposits to be economic.

The research priority areas in Program 3 are intended to systematically advance knowledge and capability toward solutions for increasing yield and throughput and optimising use of raw materials by breaking down operational silos.

In doing so, the research will create mineral processing capability and accelerate the development, testing, piloting, scale-up and other technical de-risking activities associated with new processing technologies to:

  • position Western Australia as a global leader in mineral processing
  • decrease the capital and operating costs associated with mineral processing
  • allow for safer and increased productivity from processes and a new generation of processing technologies to be deployed

Themes and intended outcomes

Processing Technology

New processes and novel technologies and testing scale-up to optimise processing which utilise artificial technology and machine learning to:

  • enable co-extraction of multiple commodities where possible minimising waste
  • increase recovery values from low grade ores, tailings, slag and residue


Development and testing of standards and protocols to support interoperability in digital platforms used in mineral processing, including interoperability between control systems, analytics tools, instrumentation, historian and business intelligence platforms

Data Driven Decisions

Advanced predictive mineral processing models and simulation techniques which connect easily measurable data with processing performance leading to:

  • reduced timeframes and costs of deployment of new processing technologies
  • common information management platforms providing access to real-time data, increasing efficiency
  • improved asset integrity by analysing and predicting failures

Energy Utilisation

Lower overall energy costs and reduced carbon footprint from mineral processing through adoption of alternative energy sources

Regulatory Tools and Processes

Evidence based tools to increase confidence and provide certainty and efficiency in regulatory processes

Safety, Social and Environmental Sustainability

Processes which eliminate exposure to hazards, improve social wellbeing and reduce the footprint of mineral processing and improve environmental outcomes

Workforce of the Future

An agile, adaptable and skilled workforce capable of leading and implementing mining technological changes into the future

Read the complete MRIWA Research Priority Plan

Page was last reviewed 7 August 2020

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