May 17, 2020

Mining3 - Innovation and technology research of the future

Mining technology
Dale Benton
2 min
Mining3 - Innovation and technology research of the future
Australian leaders in mining research – CRCMining and CSIRO Mineral Resources – have joined forces to create the worlds largest mining innov...

Australian leaders in mining research – CRCMining and CSIRO Mineral Resources – have joined forces to create the world’s largest mining innovation powerhouse, Mining3.

Headquartered in Brisbane, Mining3 integrates all of CRCMining activities and CSIRO’s hard rock mining research capability into a single, industry-focused entity.

Mining3’s combined research expertise will enable it to develop the technologies the mining industry needs to overcome its greatest challenges.

“The mining industry must change if it’s to keep up with increasing economic, environmental and social pressures, and have a productive future,” former CRCMining CEO and new Mining3 CEO, Prof Paul Lever said.

“With our unique scale and industry focus, Mining3 will drive this change. We’re drawing on the strength s of industry thought leaders, t technical experts, extensive international networks, our industry member base and proven innovation capability,” said Prof Lever.

“Mining3 is focused on shortening the innovation cycle to provide quicker benefits to the industry. We do this by involving mining companies throughout the research process and accelerating commercialisation of outcomes,” Prof Lever said.

Mining3 capabilities include rock sensing and characterisation, blasting, excavation, haulage, automation, geomechanics, energy, performance, safety and process optimisation for both surface and underground mining.

As with the former CRCMining, Mining3 is a member-based organisation. It currently has eight industry members, who direct the organisation’s research, and five research partners including CSIRO.

“We expect more industry members, both mining companies and METS/OEMs, to join Mining3 in order to take advantage of the opportunities the organisation presents. The consolidation of two of the world’s leading mining research organisations provides a greater success rate of delivering real-world innovation, and the model ensures lower costs. This is an unrivalled opportunity for mining companies and suppliers who need innovation,” Prof Lever said.

Mining3 and its members will focus on, and continue to develop, the Mining3 industry roadmap, a vision for addressing the highest value opportunities and challenges.

“We’re delighted to be partnering in Mining3 to deliver a strong, world-leading mining innovation hub that’s set to drive real outcomes for companies,” CSIRO Director of Mineral Resources, Jonathan Law said.

“This collaboration positions Australia on the global mining innovation stage. Together, we will tackle the biggest challenges facing mining today,” said Mr Law.

The new venture further strengthens Australia’s research capability and earmarks its position as a leader in global mining innovation.



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Jun 30, 2021

Rio Tinto and Alcoa begin construction with ELYSIS tech

Rio Tinto
3 min
Rio Tinto and Alcoa’s JV project ELYSIS has the potential to transform the aluminium industry, with a significant reduction in its carbon footprint

Eliminating all direct greenhouse gases from aluminium smelting has taken a major step forward with the start of construction on the first commercial-scale prototype cells of ELYSIS’ inert anode technology, at Rio Tinto’s Alma smelter in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec.

ELYSIS has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of aluminium production

ELYSIS is a joint venture company led by Rio Tinto and Alcoa that is developing a new breakthrough technology, known as inert anode, that eliminates all direct greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the traditional smelting process and instead produces oxygen.

The technology has the potential to transform the aluminium industry, with a significant reduction in its carbon footprint.

The inert anode prototype cells will operate on a commercial scale typical for large modern aluminium smelters, using an electrical current of 450 kiloamperes (kA).

The Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry joined representatives from ELYSIS, Rio Tinto and Alcoa to mark the start of construction and announce a further CAD $20mn financial contribution from the Government of Canada to support the project.

The federal government's financial support will enable the creation of a unique commercial size inert anode technology showroom for future customers and will help develop the supply chain by involving local and regional equipment manufacturers and suppliers in the project.

ELYSIS is working to complete the technology demonstration by 2024 followed by the commercialization activities.

ELYSIS technology at a glance:

  • The ELYSIS technology addresses the global trend towards producing low carbon footprint products, from mobile phones to cars, planes and building materials.
  • The new process will reduce operating costs ofaluminiumsmelters while increasing production capacity. It could be used in both new and existing aluminium smelters.
  • In Canada alone, the ELYSIS technology has the potential to reduce GHG emissions by 7 million tons, the equivalent of removing 1.8 million cars from the roads.
  • ELYSIS will also sell next-generation anode and cathode materials, which will last more than 30 times longer than traditional components.

Alcoa and Rio Tinto will continue to support the ELYSIS development program alongside the Governments of Canada and Quebec.

ELYSIS is working closely with Alcoa's Technical Center, where the zero-carbon smelting technology was invented, and the Rio Tinto technology design team in France.

Alcoa's Technical Center supports ELYSIS in the manufacture of proprietary materials for the new anodes and cathodes that are essential to the ELYSIS process. The Rio Tinto technology team in France is creating commercial scale designs for the ELYSIS technology.


Vincent Christ, CEO, ELYSIS commented: “This is a great day for ELYSIS. It means that we are becoming the first technology company in the world to build commercial-size inert anode cells. While we refine the technology in our R&D Centre, we start the construction of our prototype cells. This shows our confidence in our process and in the know-how of our team. The combination of ELYSIS' zero CO2 technology and Quebec's renewable energy will be great competitive advantage for the future. I would like to thank the government for its support and all the partners for their commitment.”

Samir Cairae, Rio Tinto Aluminium managing director Atlantic Operations and ELYSIS board member added: “Today marks a real step towards the future of the aluminium industry, by progressing this breakthrough technology to cut carbon emissions. Rio Tinto is committed to supporting its ongoing development here in Quebec where we already use clean hydropower to deliver some of the world’s lowest carbon aluminium. Combining this technology with renewable hydropower holds the promise of zero carbon aluminium smelting.”

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