Integration of JKTech and JKMRC drives innovation in mining and mineral processing

4 June 2020

SMI’s Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC) and UQ Holding company JKTech, have integrated their activities under one management structure.

Chair of the JKTech Board, Dr Barry Kelly, said the unified management structure would strengthen the ability to develop solutions across the mining value chain.

“The link between research and consulting is very important and this integration will ensure our clients are receiving the benefits of new research, expertise in technology based consulting, laboratory services, software, specialist equipment, and professional development,” he said.

SMI’s Director Professor Neville Plint has been appointed Managing Director of JKTech in addition to his SMI role.

He said the move would consolidate and strengthen the consulting and research functions of both organisations and enhance the testing and product delivery to clients.

“SMI’s goal is to provide solutions to the challenges facing our research and industry partners in the resources sector,” he said.

“Bringing together the teams in JKTech and JKMRC helps us drive innovation and continue to provide mining and metallurgy research and consulting services worldwide.”

Currently UQ's Experimental Mine Site at Indooroopilly is home to JKTech and SMI centres, BRC & JKMRC

JKMRC was established at The University of Queensland in 1970 and is an internationally recognised minerals and mining research centre with strong industry partners and a successful PhD student program. In 2000 it became part of UQ’s newly established Sustainable Minerals Institute.

JKTech opened in 1986 as the commercial division of JKMRC. It became an incorporated company in 2001, wholly owned by UQ Holdings Pty Ltd.

The teams in both organisations have maintained a close working relationship over the years, but this announcement sees a return to a single management structure whilst preserving JKTech’s corporate and technical identity.

Under the new structure Professor Plint is supported by a management team comprising Professor Rick Valenta (Acting Director, JKMRC), Paul Napier (Chief Financial Officer, JKTech), Bevin Wong (Operations Manager, JKTech) and Associate Professor Marcin Ziemski who is taking on the role of commercial lead working across JKTech and JKMRC.

For further information contact: Gillian Ievers,, 0438 121757