Our interdisciplinary researchers are working to improve the mining sector through innovations in reducing environmental impacts, carbon capture and storage and optimising processes.
Through the Melbourne Mining Integrator (MMI), the University of Melbourne works with explorers, miners and mining equipment, technology and service (METS) providers to tackle some of the sector’s most challenging problems.
Working closely with our partners, we can provide end-to-end solutions – from shaping technological problems, analysing the solutions through simulation, through to testing prototypes in our facilities and in the field.
Leverage our expertise and MMI’s unique value proposition of full integration across the value chain.
We invite you to join us at the leading edge.
Mapping the massive tunnel networks that gives miners access to mineral ores is an expensive and time-consuming process, but new optimisation software developed by our researchers could save the industry millions.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore has invested billions of dollars in robotic drilling equipment, trucks and trains at its Pilbara mining complex in Western Australia. It uses complex scheduling software developed in collaboration with the University of Melbourne to further optimise these operations.
MMI has developed advanced techniques for the extraction of metals from their ores based on the use of pulsed columns – a game-changing alternative to mixer-settlers. After demonstrating a prototype, this technique has been successfully scaled-up and deployed at a major mine site, halving the water use.
Get in touch
We are client-focussed and collaborative – we work side-by-side with your leaders, engineers and scientists to develop solutions to your challenges.
From complex multi-partner research to short consulting projects, talk to us about your needs for:
- Emerging technologies
- Developing technology strategies
- Engineering customised solutions
- Leveraging our state-of-the-art research facilities
Let us help you solve your technology challenges.
Our research collaborations deliver innovative solutions with transformative outcomes for industry, communities and the environment.
Next-generation digital mining
Analysing the large volumes of data being produced in modern mines can identify opportunities to optimise mine operations and maximise value.
Agile logistics and mine planning
New mining techniques and mine designs are being developed to incorporate real-time responsiveness to unfolding environmental conditions to optimise operations along mining and processing supply chains.
Upgrades to existing mineral processing units and the introduction of new technologies can improve extraction rates and reduce waste impacts.
- Associate Professor Adrian Pearce
- Dr Christopher Goodes
Enterprise Professor, Melbourne Mining Integrator
Research Team Leaders
- Dr Ben Rubinstein
Program leader, Next-generation digital mining
- Dr Michelle Blom
Program leader, Agile logistics and mine planning
- Dr Kathryn Mumford
Program leader, Process productivity
Media Advisor, Melbourne School of Engineering
Mining Industry 4.0 CRC
The MI4 CRC aims to fundamentally change the mining value chain, by moving from silo-based decision making to a fully integrated systems approach. Implementation will require profound social and technical change but has the potential to transform the mining industry.
- Create jobs and deliver value to Australia through industry led research focusing on digital based technologies
- Create opportunities for METS companies to further develop and commercialise these technologies
- Benefit the Australian mining industry through improved safety, increased yields and productivity, less waste and less disruption to the mining area
- Super charge the growth of an export focused METS sector
- Unlock the potential to open new mining precincts
The application of Industry 4.0 principles offers enormous potential to reduce waste, improve yields and to reduce costs. Mine sites are often flooded in a sea of data, however turning that data into decisions is frequently problematic. The MI4 CRC will connect world class research capability directly with industry needs to create readily commercialise systems and processes.
The MI4 team intends to submit a bid in the 21st CRC selection round. To find out more about the MI4 CRC or participate in this initiative see our prospectus or contact the bid leader.
POSSIBLE RESEARCH THEMES
Detailed project outlines will be developed in close collaboration with industry partners to ensure maximum alignment and impact. At this stage four cross cutting research themes are proposed to stimulate engagement:
- Open platforms for data, processes and insights
- Open architecture
- Inter-operability challenges
- Dynamic resource models
- Value chain driven decisions
- Encouraging entrepreneurial METS and start-ups to contribute
- Trusted autonomy
- Risk measurement and management
- Engineering change management
- Maintenance support for autonomous systems
- Operational transparence
- Technology support
- Change management through transition
- Business process re-design
- Human machine interfaces
- Organization model structures to support transition
- Government regulations and frameworks to promulgate change
- Preparing the workforce of the future
- Providing local skills
- Social adaption to mining industry 4.0
- Targeted training programs
- Post graduate programs for future employees
Outcomes based research to meet industry needs
The MI4 CRC will deliver safer, more environmentally acceptable and productive solutions to the worlds growing demand for minerals by enabling fully autonomous and integrated mining operations along the entire value chain.
This will grow the Australian mining sector through enhanced competitiveness, enable new orebodies to be mined increasing reserves, bring the METS sector into the mine automation and the integrated mining platforms markets and increase safety, environmental sustainability and social license to operate.
This grand challenge is of such a size and difficulty that no individual company (METS or Miner) or research organization can solve on their own.
The CRC Program
For more information please visit the CRC program website