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.
- MI4’s mission
- Australia is already a global powerhouse in mining and METS, and both are critical to the Australian economy. Yet the industry faces strong head winds from increased global competition, changing commodity consumption patterns, declining ore grades, deeper mines, and remote locales.
- The world is moving to cyber-enabled real-time data analysis and decision making, and other industries (e.g.: automotive and aerospace) have been faster to respond with the adoption of I4.0 principles. I4.0 harnesses robotics, automation, digital technologies and skilled people for more efficient product manufacturing, asset tracking and life-cycle management. The Australian mining industry must evolve and ensure the current and future workforce is equipped with the new skills required.
- Australian METS are already key drivers of innovation in the mining sector, but need to become more digitally capable and to move from bespoke to generic solutions. Smaller METS companies often find it difficult to interact with large miners, and engagement with research organisations remains a challenge. MI4 CRC will offer direct pathways for collaboration for organisations of all sizes.
- The MI4 CRC will provide the vehicle for mining and METS companies to collaborate with researchers to develop new approaches, tools and technologies for a mining-specific version of I4.0. This will enable connectivity and interoperability of different systems across the mining value chain and create a new, integrated, ‘Mining I4.0’.
MI4 CRC proposes to undertake research programs in four complementary areas of integrity, integration, implementation and intelligence – MI4 CRC’s four ‘I’s - to deliver value to the METS and mining sectors.
- Program 1. MI4 Robust data Integrity: This program concerns new techniques for the seamless transition from sensor data to more robust information fusion.
- Program 2. MI4 Integration & Interoperability Framework: This program will create original equipment manufacturer (OEM)-agnostic, open platforms for interoperability and systems integration.
- Program 3. MI4 Solutions development & Implementation: This program will develop fit for purpose, plug & play, cyber-secure digital innovative process enhancements and solutions.
- Program 4. MI4 Digital Intelligence ecosystem: This program concerns innovative new learning techniques for growing digital capability by upskilling existing staff and attracting a future digitally skilled workforce.
MI4 CRC will deliver the next generation of integrated mining systems providing a step-change in the capabilities and competitiveness of Australia’s METS and mining sector. It will bring digital and data service providers together in regular forums to exploit emerging opportunities based on a digitally capable workforce. The MI4 will offer new ways of reskilling the current workforce and to train new staff.
The CRC Program
For more information please visit the CRC program website