The Australian government has announced A$3.7 million (US$2.5 million) funding for the new Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Integrated Operations for Complex Resources.
Funded with another A$2 million plus A$6.8 million in-kind support from research and industry organisations, the A$12.5 million centre will deliver enabling tools and train the next generation of scientists and engineers in advanced sensors, data analytics and artificial intelligence to increase value in mining and processing of complex resources.
Professor Mike Brooks, deputy vice-chancellor (research) of the University of Adelaide, has welcomed today's funding announcement.
"Underpinned by world-leading research, our new, high-tech training centre will help to shape the very future of mining operations in Australia," he said.
"Combining our expertise in advanced sensors, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the new centre will deliver vital tools, training and workforce needs to help ensure Australia and key industry players lead the world.
"The new centre's work directly aligns with the University of Adelaide's industry engagement priorities in energy, mining, and resources, which are critical to the economic and technological success of South Australia and the nation."
The University of Adelaide stated that the new training centre will:
- Help enable the mining industry to make real-time decisions and apply the correct and most cost-effective parameters or processes at any point in the mining value chain, avoiding costly unnecessary processes;
- Bring step-change increases in productivity via network connectivity and high-speed computation; and
- Focus on maximising value by optimising productivity and product quality, the outcome of which has the greatest potential to deliver the largest economic gains.
Lead investigator Professor Peter Dowd, professor of mining engineering at the University of Adelaide, commented that the training centre will address critical needs of the mining industry through its focus on sensors, data analytics and artificial intelligence - a knowledge priority area for the industry.
"This funding award recognises the world-leading concentration of mining research in South Australia, placing us at the forefront of developments that will transform the mining and processing of complex resources," he said.
"Australia has a unique opportunity to become a world leader in integrated mining, and a hub for mining equipment, technology and services."
The training centre will be housed within the University of Adelaide's Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources. Other participants in the training centre include the University of South Australia, Curtin University and 22 industry and government organisations.