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MEI Online: General Minerals Engineering: Latest News: April 22nd 2008

 
 

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:: AMIRA Research Team Hits the Road to Help Sponsors with Technology Take-up

AMIRA Project P9N has broken new ground in technology transfer with a global tour of key researchers to present their findings.

The five continent tour has enabled a large number of operational staff in member companies to discuss directly with the research team how they can implement the processing improvements and capture the commercial benefits. It has enabled them to draw on the extraordinary depth of knowledge of this multi-national team that has spearheaded mineral processing improvements over several decades. It included one-to-one discussions with key personnel and group workshop sessions.

Some companies had up to 20 key staff attend a single session, others had representatives at a number of sessions in different cities or countries.

These meetings, combined with the 25 site studies that were conducted over the four years of the project, have allowed P9N to set a benchmark for direct delivery of benefits from multi-party research.

AMIRA has recognised for some time that the regional diversification of member companies can make technology transfer difficult. This is particularly true for P9 because the processing improvements it delivers have application to hundreds of operations around the globe. While group members are free to circulate the research findings to all their operations, it is often only at face-to-face meetings with researchers that operators can discuss the practicalities of finetuning implementation to their specific site. Where this occurs technology uptake is greatly accelerated and the benefits more quickly captured.

There are cases where implementation at a single site has returned the company in one year 40 times or more its total investment in the project.

Richard Beck, the AMIRA Research Director in charge of the P9 program says: “P9 has been one of the most remarkable projects in the history of mineral research. It has delivered hundreds of millions of dollars of improved productivity over the years and, as our understanding of the processes improves, each extension of the research seems to deliver more. “What we have discovered, however, is that the speed with which these benefits are captured is often increased by the degree of access the technical operators -the people who will implement them - have to the researchers. No matter how good the science, there are always site-specific questions. Face-to-face discussions are the quickest and most effective way to address these. "

To provide this access on a broad scale - allowing both single-operation sponsors and group member sponsors to all have direct access -- Richard Beck arranged a global tour of key P9 researchers to make direct presentations to operatives of sponsoring companies. He was supported in the USA and Canada by Terry Braden (AMIRA North America) and in Chile by Dr David Nairn and Dr J.C. Salas (AMIRA Latin America).

The research teams who took part in the project were:

    North America - Prof Emmy Manlapig, Prof Malcolm Powell (JKMRC), Prof J-P Franzidis (UCT). In Toronto they were joined by Prof Jim Finch, McGill
  • Europe - Prof Emmy Manlapig, Prof Malcolm Powell (JKMRC). Prof J-P Franzidis (UCT). In Helsinki they were joined by Prof Haken Benzer, Hacettepe University.
  • South Africa - Prof Emmy Manlapig, Dr Sergio Vianna (JKMRC), Prof J-P Franzidis Dr Aubrey Mainza, Martin Harris, Jenny Sweet (UCT)
  • Australia - Prof Emmy Manlapig, Prof Malcolm Powell (JKMRC) Prof J-P Franzidis (UCT)
  • Latin America - Prof Emmy Manlapig, Dr Frank Shi, Dr Sergio Vianna. (JMKRC)

The success of sponsoring companies in reaping the benefits of P9N is already reflected in the large number signing on to participate in the next extension, P9O. This has had the greatest number of sponsors and the biggest budget of any project in AMIRA’s 49 year history.

Although the deadline for joining the project has been reached, this has been kept open to allow companies who are still going through their internal approval process to sign up. Other companies interested, please contact: Richard.Beck@amira.com.au

 

 

   

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