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MEI Online: Solid-Liquid Separation: Latest News: May 30th 2007


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:: AMIRA Members Honoured for their Research Support

AMIRA International has received an Award for Excellence in Innovation from the Cooperative Research Centres Association of Australia.

The award recognises the support of AMIRA members in fostering improved understanding of gravity thickeners. This research has already produced commercial benefits running to hundreds of millions of dollars and promises to deliver even more in the years ahead.

The Parker Cooperative Research Centre for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions and CSIRO Minerals, which has led the research into Project P266 and its extensions, also received Excellence awards for their work (see www.min-eng.com/solidliquidseparation/80.html).

Companies that have supported the project, and thus are recognised by the award, are (in alphabetical order) Albian Sands Energy, Alcan, Alcoa, Anglo Platinum, Anglo Gold Ashanti Australia, Aughinish Alumina, Bateman Engineering, BHP Billiton, Cable Sands, Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Cytec, De Beers, Dorr-Oliver EIMCO, Hatch Associates, Hydro, Iluka, Lightnin Africa, Minara Resources, Nalco, OMG Cawse, Outokumpu Technology, QAL, Phelps Dodge, Rio Tinto, Tiwest, Xstrata Copper and Zinifex.

Dr Paul Greenhill, AMIRA’s Chief Operating Officer, accepted the award on behalf of all the sponsors.

Dr Greenhill said that while most research awards rightly recognised the efforts of researchers, it was pleasing that the CRCA Award also recognised those companies which had the foresight to see the potential of research and to provide the funds which made the work possible. It is this cooperation between industry and researchers which is the foundation of the CRC system, he said.

Parker Centre Researcher John Farrow (CSIRO Minerals) said a key success of the project had been improved understanding of the primary physical and chemical processes affecting the performance of gravity thickeners. This had enabled the development of mathematical models that visualised the complex flow of gravity thickeners and so identified ways to enhance performance.

Independent research commissioned by the Parker Centre has shown that earlier work on P266 and its extensions had realised benefits of A$295 million (net present value) between 1995 and 2005.

Dr Greenhill said that while commercial benefits continue to accrue from the current research extension, P266E, there were also considerable environmental benefits flowing from the work, particularly in regard to water savings.

With another year of research already funded under the present project extension and the possibility that members might want to continue the work, the P266 project series is likely to lead to further advances yet, he said.




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