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CSIRO scientist leads international mining research centre

A Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation scientist will lead an international mining and mineral processing research centre in Santiago, Chile.

The Chile International Centre of Excellence in Mining and Mineral Processing was developed by CSIRO in collaboration with the University of Chile and leading industry and research partners.

Its purpose will be to tackle key challenges faced by the mining industries of both Australia and Chile.

In a 28 July statement, the director, Neal Wai Poi, said, “Australia and Chile have many common current and future challenges that their mining industries need to address. These include processing lower-grade ores, improving water and energy efficiency in remote operations, and deeper open-cut and underground operations.

“The Centre of Excellence will have extensive benefits for Australia, including creating new bilateral business opportunities for service companies, improving the efficiency and competitiveness of the industry and advancing scientific research.”

Wai Poi has been acting director of the CSIRO Light Metals Flagship since 2009.

The centre will be co-funded by the Chilean Government and is supported by Chile’s Center for Technological and Scientific Research in Mining (CICITEM), the University of Antofogasto and leading industry partners including BHP Billiton Codelco, Anglo American Chile, Antofagasta Minerals and Xstrata Copper as well as several local Australian companies.