The University of Queensland´s long and rich history of mining-related research and education is now being exported to Chile through the Sustainable Minerals Institute´s International Centre of Excellence (SMI-ICE Chile).

The establishment of the Centre followed UQ´s successful application to CORFO´s “Attraction of International R&D Centre for Competitiveness 2.0” Program. The partners in the Centre, UQ, JKTech South America SpA (JKSpA) and the Universidad de Concepción (UdeC) have built a mulit-year platform for research and capacity building that will engage with industry, government, universities, research organizations and communities to address the major challenges facing the country´s minerals sector.

As the country produces more than a third of the world´s copper, identifying productivity improvement pathways through new technologies and optimizing efficiencies in procedures and processes with help ensure mining continues to provide the revenue and opportunity for the economy. Beyond the research lines in the production area that are developing the next generation of concentrators and smelters, the Centre also has a major emphasis on the environment, and specific projects around tailings, water and energy are in the pipeline. Given the high-profile of global incidents associated with mine tailings storage facilities in recent history, a greater understanding of not just the technical, but also the interrelationships with the environmental and critically the community aspects of managing these facilities is paramount.

“SMI-ICE Chile will build upon extensive expertise that already exists in Chile in many areas of mining research, and UQ´s involvement and contribution through the Centre will be a facilitating mechanism for Chile to generate a strong international profile in the area of sustainability” said SMI´s Director of Environment Centres, Prof David Mulligan.

“Importantly, the Centre of Excellence will progressively attract, train and develop an increasing number of highly skilled Chilean professionals across a spectrum of disciplines

Ensuring intellectual capital will remain within the country “, he said.

The Centre will be established as a world-class platform for the commercialization of SMI-ICE Chile research. With a collaborative framework and a proven model of good governance, Professor Mulligan said the initiative deepens the productive relationship between university centres and private industry stakeholders.

“By extending SMI´s business model from Australia, the Centre will continue to grow and extend its reach for many years to come. The involvement of JKTech, combined with SMI´s globally-tested and recognized technology transfer frameworks, will see an introduction of multiple and multi-faceted pathways and new dynamic approaches to research commercialization and technology implementation in Chile”.

Fuente: Revista Auscham.[:]