The University of Adelaide will lead the group with a contribution of $4.46 million in cash and kind. It will be known as The Research Consortium – Unlocking Complex Resources through Lean Processing.
The South Australian Government will contribute $4 million under the Premier’s Research and Industry Fund. The remainder of the money will come from a large range of mining sector and research partners.
The consortium was announced today by South Australia's Science and Information Economy Minister Kyam Maher.
The SA Government aims to triple copper production to one million tonnes a year by 2030.
“There is a large untapped copper resource in the state with total value of known copper resource (with gold as a by-product) at over $800 billion,” said Professor Stephen Grano, director of the University of Adelaide’s Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources.
Prof Grano will be director of the new Consortium.
“There is a significant potential to increase the rate of commercial exploitation of these resources which would have major beneficial economic impacts for the state.
"However, there are also significant capital and operating cost hurdles to overcome, due in large part to the geological complexity of the resource.
“The Research Consortium will develop advanced technology to tailor the mining and processing options to specific characteristics of the mineral ore in real-time – an approach known as lean processing.
"We will be able to look at copper mining across the whole value chain from the resource in the ground, right through mining and processing, enabling the whole system to be optimised rather than optimising isolated parts.”