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NIER to develop safer mining

NIER to develop safer mining

The Australian Research Council has allocated A$1.3 million (US$1.38 million) in Linkage Program funding to the University of Newcastle for projects over the next four years. The projects aim to develop new technology to make mines more efficient, sustainable and safer.

The projects include:

• A$560,000 (US$599,000) to develop new mathematical and computational planning tools to maximise the value of blended mineral products such as coal and iron ore in the mining supply chain;
• A$500,000 (US$535,000) to research and develop new explosives technologies to reduce nitrogen oxide gases following rock blasting. The technologies will mitigate the formation of post-blast fumes making the process safer for miners and the environment; and
• A$230,000 (US$246,000) to enhance carbon removal in secondary steel refining which will result in improved quality and productivity in the production of high value-added steel products.

Acting deputy vice-chancellor (Research) Professor Scott Holmes said the projects would build on the University’s solid track record in research that delivered efficiencies for industry and the environment.

“The University of Newcastle attracts strong support from government and industry for our research programs which has resulted in a doubling of external funding over the past six years,” Professor Holmes said.

“These latest projects will ensure that we remain at the forefront of research and development of technology that addresses the needs of industry and boosts sustainability and efficiency.”

The funding follows the establishment of the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) that brings together the University’s leading energy and resources researchers.

“By collaborating with industry, NIER aims to deliver innovative solutions to global problems and contribute to the sustainability of resources and the environment,” Professor Holmes said.

“It is a pivotal time for the energy and resources sector and NIER is perfectly positioned to work with industry and government to meet sustainability targets and improve production.”

Key areas of focus for NIER include reducing energy and water consumption, decreasing carbon emissions and developing alternative energy sources, with the ultimate goal of driving long term social change.

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