SMI-BRC Expertise

The SMI-BRC has two complimentary applied research programmes that draw upon expertise in geoscience, mine engineering, geostatistics and valuation and the support available from other SMI centres.

Mass Underground Mining

Transitioning mass mining to deeper, much higher capacity operations

The programme is focused on fostering ‘step-change' advances in technologies that manage engineering risks and underpin higher capacity mining in deeper frontier settings (where higher rock stress regimes, stronger rock masses, higher temperatures, and very thick overburden present new challenges, and where upfront capital investments will be potentially very large).  
It integrates the SMI-BRC’s disciplinary expertise in geoscience, mass mining engineering, blasting science, computational science (predictive rock response), valuation and risk analysis to provide engineering solutions and technologies that can be applied in the design, development and operation of deep, large-scale metalliferous mines.

Program Leader

Professor Gideon Chitombo

Geology for Mining Program

The main aim of the Geology for Mining program is to maximise the impact of geological information and understanding on the mining value chain, by developing tools and approaches to extend the ability of geological datasets to predict and model key mining and processing parameters, and to increase the effectiveness of in-mine and district exploration.

Context

  • Maximise value of geological information at every stage in the extractive process.
  • Reduction of risk and cost.
  • Faster and more rigorous geological models which are designed to address exploration, mining and processing needs.
  • Effective characterisation of rock mass for mining.
  • Cost-effective deposit-scale mapping and exploration.
  • Better and more responsive tools and approaches for 3D modelling of mineralised environments at deposit to regional scale, aiding brownfield and greenfields exploration.
  • New and cheaper ways to extract ore, including in situ recovery.

Projects within this program

Funding received for project to facilitate the scoping of the 4-year NW Queensland prospectivity program 

BRC project to compile and contextualise previous research and relevant exploration data for NW Queensland mineral province program 

Reactive ground study in the Mount Isa copper orebodies.  

Microbial recovery of metal 

Projects related to tectonostratigraphic analysis 

Case study of geometallurgical tools 

Program Leader

Richard Valenta

Program Team

Travis Murphy

Mark Hinman