ARC Centre of Excellence For Enabling Eco-Efficient Beneficiation of Minerals

The University of Queensland is one of seven universities tasked with championing sustainable minerals processing through a federally-backed $35 million Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence.

With the support of the world’s leading resources universities and Australia’s mining industry, the Centre is perfectly placed to develop the tools to ensure sustainable progress.  Research will focus on the core of minerals processing - particles size - and how coarser particles can increase robustness, efficiency, and speed of separation and, therefore, energy efficiency.

New methods of reducing tailings and maximising water recovery will also be developed, which will not only save energy and reduce the loss of high-value minerals but also significantly reduce the industry’s environmental footprint.

Collaboration with industry, government and universities across disciplines is core to SMI because of its demonstrated success in developing innovative solutions. One of the most exciting aspects of this project is it is bringing together experts from the country’s leading universities, companies, and international research partners to advance sustainable mineral processing.

The industry is developing economically and environmentally sustainable technology to meet the growing demand for metals, which itself is driven by the need for low carbon energy technologies required to address climate change. This is a space that the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC), the largest minerals processing research centre in Australia, is uniquely equipped to contribute with applied industry impact.

Within the Centre, the Flotation Chemistry Group is involved in the following projects: 

  • Characterisation of clays, including the role of salts in copper flotation
  • Investigation of direct reagent addition to bubble surfaces via the gas phase on hydrophobic particle recovery
  • Ultrafast particle recovery through formation of small hydrophobic aggregates
  • Measurement of surface chemical heterogeneity at the micron scale 
  • Ultrafine particle deposition and adhesion with permeable hydrophobic surfaces
  • Development of bio-polymer collectors for selective flotation of specific minerals


Roles Within the Centre: