Major research centre launched

THE Brisbane based CRCMining was officially launched last week after receiving $27 million for a third seven-year term in the most recent funding round of the Commonwealth Government’s CRC Program. The centre expects to leverage this to over $100 million from industry and University of Queensland funds.

Staff Reporter

Formerly the Cooperative Research Centre for Mining Technology and Equipment, the CRCMining was launched by Australian Minister for Science the Hon Peter McGauran.

CRCMining CEO Professor Mike Hood said the Centre’s work was vital to the mining industry, which accounted for more than 5%of the GDP and constituted about 35% of Australian export products and services.

“Mining is a high technology industry that underpins the Australian economy. The refunded and renewed Centre, already internationally-recognised, will now be in a stronger position to research, develop and deliver valuable mining technologies to improve mining safety and contribute to the industry’s bottom line,” he said.

Professor Hood said CRCMining had developed a new research program as part of the Centre’s launch and renaming. The new program built on previous strengths but now aimed to improve the performance of the entire mining system.

“The Centre has already pioneered a number of breakthrough technologies, most notably the Universal Dragline System (UDS). This innovative system increases dragline productivity by typically 15% and has won several industry awards.

“The UDS went from invention to production in just three years through the combined efforts of CRCMining with researchers from The University of Queensland and backing from industry partner BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA).”

Professor Hood said the Centre now had an expanded portfolio of substantial mining industry R&D projects with strong backing from the Australian government and industry and institution partners.

The centre’s longwall related research includes projects on Longwall fault detection and isolation; longwall AFC modelling and control; longwall face maintenance optimisation; and AFC tensionmeter. The CRCMining is also one of the key research providers in the ACARP funded Landmark longwall automation project.