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MEDIA RELEASE  

30 January 2017

Continuous Linkage Projects: facilitating industry collaboration 

The Australian Research Council (ARC) has released details of the first successful research project proposals to be funded under its continuous Linkage Projects scheme, including research that will improve our national rail track system, develop better coal seam gas water treatment, and improve the efficiency of Australia’s mining sector.

ARC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Leanne Harvey, said the Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, announced the new successful projects today, which will strengthen industry-research collaborative efforts.

“This delivers on an important National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) measure to implement a continuous application process for the ARC’s Linkage Projects scheme, said Ms Harvey.

“From 1 July 2016, the ARC commenced accepting proposals under the Linkage Projects scheme on a continuous basis—a significant move away from the previous ‘one round per year’ approach.

“These new Linkage Projects involve significant collaboration between higher education researchers and other parts of the national innovation system—with matching cash and in-kind contributions provided by Partner Organisations, including: Queensland Gas Company; Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation; BHP Billiton Innovation; and Newcrest Mining.

The new projects awarded funding today include:

  • $675,000 to University of Wollongong, for a project led by Professor Buddhima Indraratna, to examine the factors that cause mud pumping and evaluate the effectiveness of sub-surface drainage to prevent rail track instability, particularly for mining and agriculture loads. The project aims to improve track longevity and reduce maintenance costs, with a corresponding boost in rail productivity. 
  • $450,000 for a research project at The University of Queensland, led by Dr Steven Pratt, to develop strategies to mitigate silica scaling at coal seam gas water treatment facilities. The project may lead to more productive use of assets, improved pretreatment infrastructure, and the environmental benefits of reduced chemical waste and increased water recovery.
  • $555,000 to The University of Queensland, for a research project led by Associate Professor Yongjun Peng, to understand the reactions taking place during the recovery of base-metal and precious minerals. The project will develop new technologies to achieve mineral separation and metal extraction more efficiently and economically, halving the operating costs and providing reductions in harmful emissions.
  • $195,000 for a research project at The University of Queensland, led by Professor Peter Hayes to support improved extraction and utilisation of Australia’s iron ore resources by providing new technical information on the behaviour of ores during iron ore sintering. The project may improve the iron-making process, supporting companies to efficiently use, market, and sell different iron ores.

“The ARC is proud to have delivered on this key NISA measure to boost the innovative capacity of the nation by supporting research collaboration.”

More details about the Linkage Projects announced today are provided below and are available from the ARC website.

 

Media contact
ARC Stakeholder Relations              
0412 623 056 or communications@arc.gov.au

 

Project ID

Investigator(s)

Summary

Administering Organisation

Partner Organisation(s)

Primary FOR

Funding

LP160101254 Buddhima Indraratna; John Carter; Cholachat Rujikiatkamjorn; Jinsong Huang; Jayan Vinod; Nagamuttu Narendranathan; Richard Kelly; Laricar Dominic Trani This project aims to examine the factors that cause mud pumping and evaluate the effectiveness of sub-surface drainage to prevent rail track instability. Fast heavy haul operations (such as loads used in mining and agriculture) impart repeated loads on the natural formation that can result in mud pumping. If the build-up of water pressure becomes excessive this can cause track failure. Through an experimental program and field study, the mechanisms of mud pumping, incorporating train loads and frequencies, will be studied, and the role of vertically installed drains will be quantified for improved practical design.  The project aims to contribute to improved track longevity and reduced maintenance costs, with a corresponding boost in rail productivity. University of Wollongong INFRA TECH PTY LTD,
AUSTRALASIAN CENTRE
FOR RAIL INNOVATION
(ACRI) LIMITED,
GEOHARBOUR GROUP,
COFFEY GEOTECHNICS PTY LTD, SMEC AUSTRALIA PTY. LIMITED
0905 $675,000

LP160101313

Yongjun Peng; Andrejs Atrens; David Seaman

This project aims to understand the reactions taking place on the major gangue (waste) mineral during the recovery of base-metal and precious minerals. The mining industry is processing low grade complex ores and experiencing difficulties in rejecting gangue minerals in mineral separation and metal extraction plants. The project will develop new technologies that manipulate these reactions to achieve mineral separation and metal extraction efficiently and economically. These technologies may provide value in processing low quality complex polymetallic resources using low quality water, whilst halving the operating costs of mineral concentrators and providing corresponding reductions in harmful emissions.

The University of Queensland

NEWCREST MINING
LIMITED, VEGA
INDUSTRIES (MIDDLE EAST) F.Z.C, SIERRA GORDA SCM

 0914

$555,000

LP160101339

Peter Hayes; Evgueni Jak

This project aims to support improved extraction and utilisation of Australia’s iron ore resources through providing new technical information on the behaviour of the ores during iron ore sintering. The project will measure the rates of chemical reactions taking place between the minerals and high temperature melts encountered in iron ore sintering. These reactions are critical in determining the microstructures formed and the resulting physical properties of the iron ore sinter. Understanding the effect of these properties on subsequent iron -making process efficiency will support companies to efficiently use, market, and sell different iron ores.

The University of Queensland

BHP BILLITON
INNOVATION PTY. LTD.

 0914

$195,000

LP160101294

Steven Pratt; Gregory Leslie; Simon Smart; Greg Birkett; Deirdre Walsh; Jason Dwyer

This project aims to develop strategies to mitigate silica scaling at coal seam gas (CSG) water treatment facilities. CSG is adsorbed to the surface of coal along fractures and cleats and released when pressure is reduced by removal of groundwater, which has chemistry specific to the region from which it is extracted. Desalination of produced water is severely impacted by mineral scaling on reverse osmosis membranes. This project will consider silica and silica-rich nanoparticles in concert with cations and organics, with the aim of better managing cations so to facilitate nanoparticle lubrication. Project outcomes may include more productive use of assets, improved pre-treatment infrastructure to support reverse osmosis operation, and the environmental benefits of reduced chemical waste and increased water recovery.

The University of Queensland

QGC - A BG GROUP
BUSINESS, AUSTRALIA
PACIFIC LNG PTY
LIMITED, SANTOS
LIMITED, ARROW
ENERGY PTY LTD, WASTEWATER FUTURES PTY LTD

 0904

$450,000