SMI-JKMRC has been active in applied mining industry research across Australia for over 50 years. Also, it has been at the forefront of research activities across Australia’s minerals sector throughout its history. The centre is the home of AMIRA P9, the world’s longest running minerals processing research project, which started in Australia at the SMI-JKMRC in the 1960’s and has become a highly collaborative international program. SMI-JKMRC leads Australian-focussed mining and minerals processing research projects in all states of the country, across the entire mine value chain, from blasting, to comminution, flotation and more.

Example Projects in Australia:

  • Project “Stress intensity in stirred milling”; a study of innovative stirrer design for stirred milling technology. Focus is on building a prototype to better understand and improve the grinding zone in stirred mills. Project being delivered includes experimentation on and investigation of stirrer design. Recent seed funding has been achieved with Weir in Australia to workshop and engage with the client to identify further research opportunities.
  • SMI-JKMRC is working in partnership with an Australian copper operation to conduct surveys of their grinding and flotation circuits. The project is applying the centre’s extensive modelling capability to characterise the ore and assess strategies for circuit improvement.
  • SMI-JKMRC is working in conjunction with a number of Australian mining operations to assess the potential of High Voltage Pulse Comminution (HVP) to improve energy efficiency in grinding and downstream separation efficiencies. HVP has the potential to enhance pre-concentration by size separation, pre-weaken an ore and enhance mineral liberation after grinding.


SMI-JKMRC is working in partnership with the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, researching the potential for using High Voltage Pulse (HVP) technology for comminution.  The aim is to transform HVP from a laboratory based process to something that can be used to process large tonnage rates economically.


SMI-JKMRC works in South Africa on multiple projects. Examples include a study of the EDS Multi Shaft Mill, focussing on the validation of EDEM simulation results through the surveying of the mill on two different ore types. The main goals of this project are to perform comprehensive surveys of the mill under various conditions, replicate the test conditions through simulation, and compare simulation and survey results to enable more effective prediction and optimisation of mill performance. This project has lead to a publication in the prestigious Minerals Engineering journal as well as published online in the research spotlights of EDEM. Also in South Africa, the project “Anglo Process Improvement Tools” is being conducted. This is a fast tracked research initiative based on research outcomes from site work, and applies modelling tools along with detailed diagnostic theories to address operational issues. The main objective is to create a consistent and easy to use set of tools, accompanied by a detailed up-to-date diagnostic theory for use by site-based personnel. An online toolbox active on Anglo American’s Intranet and GCC website is being implemented as part of the project deliverables.

Latin AmericaLatin America

SMI-JKMRC works throughout South America with active projects in Brazil and Mexico. In Brazil we are carrying out a project at Minas Gerais. The “Minas Rio site surveys” project is using a sampling and survey program to model the Minas Rio iron ore grinding circuit. The main goals are to provide a simulator of the Minas Rio grinding circuit using customised modelling tools to improve plant configuration and performance. Review and recommendations on sampling techniques and multiple surveys are part of the project outcomes.

In Mexico, a project is being conducted at Minera Saucito, Fresnillo, Zacatecas. SMI-JKMRC researchers conducted comminution and flotation site work to compare the performance of hydrocyclones and multi-deck screens. This pioneering research project is showing interesting liberation and recovery behaviour patterns across different classification mechanisms. Two high profile papers have already been published on this work, one of which received the best presentation award at the 2017 MetPlant conference.


Through the AMIRA P9Q project, lead by Dr Mohsen Yahyaei, SMI-JKMRC works in this global collaborative research initiative that includes the University of Queensland, the University of Cape Town (South Africa), Chalmers University (Sweden), Hacettepe University (Turkey), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), CRC ORE and an international group of eleven mining company and supplier sponsors.