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MEI Online: General Minerals Engineering: Latest News: December 15th 2011


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:: BASF Invests in Intelligent Chemistry for Mining in Australia

BASF has signed a long-term agreement with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to lease laboratory and office space at the Australian Minerals Research Centre in Perth.

Starting in January 2012, BASF will build a global R&D and technology centre, employing six researchers and developers by the end of 2012. In first projects, scientists will be studying mineral processing specific innovation needs such as advanced rheology modifiers for the improvement of the thickening process for valuables and tailings or modification of the crystallization process in alumina production. BASF also agreed to sponsor research undertaken by the Parker Centre starting from July 2012. For five years, BASF will make a substantial financial contribution to participate in collaborative research in the areas of breakthrough technologies and process fundamentals primarily focused on alumina, base metals (particularly cobalt, copper, nickel and zinc), gold and uranium.

The Parker Centre is a collaborative research organization focused on hydrometallurgy R&D, involving three research institutions (CSIRO, Curtin University and Murdoch University) and strongly supported by 20 mineral processing companies.

"Our vision is to become the leading chemical solutions provider to the mining industry by investing in existing and innovative technologies for mineral processing and metal production of ores. To be successful, we are increasing our R&D spending and strengthening our market focused organization. The agreement with CSIRO is an important step towards building technology and innovation leadership and demonstrates our global commitment to the mining industry," said Steffen Kudis, Head of BASF's Oilfield and Mining Chemicals business.

With the participation at the Parker Centre in Perth and the agreement with CSIRO, BASF intends to strengthen its R&D capabilities in proximity to industrial research centers and key customers. This creates the opportunity to connect BASF technologies and research and development platforms with opinion leaders in academia and industry and thereby jointly address new developments for mineral processing. "Our research will greatly benefit from the intellectual property generated from the Parker Centre and from our interactions with the participant research groups," explained Gregor Brodt, Global Development, Oilfield and Mining Chemicals.

"Mining has become a central focus for BASF globally, and particularly in Australia and New Zealand," said Neil Fitzmaurice, Head of the recently established Asia Pacific Industry Target Group Mining. "We have built relationships with leading mining houses and industry-recognized academia, a sound market understanding, an attractive portfolio and the capability to translate market needs into chemical solutions. Our Asia Pacific Industry Target Group Mining looks to develop an even more comprehensive offering with the overall portfolio of BASF, also for market segments beyond mineral processing, metal production and construction. In this way we want to continue to provide major operational, environmental and economic benefits for the mining industry."




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