Underground mining project receives federal funding support

Friday, 14 January, 2022

A project to develop rock reinforcement for underground mines has received $5 million in funding from the federal government. Carried out by researchers from UNSW Sydney, the project will deliver a range of innovative technologies and create job opportunities in key manufacturing sectors, including in regional Australia. More than $47 million was granted to 22 projects in a round of funding from the Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) program, with UNSW Sydney researchers receiving over $5 million for four projects. A team led by Professor Serkan Saydam from UNSW Engineering will work alongside Jennmar Australia and JIMACK to design, develop and build Australian manufacturing for the world’s highest capacity dynamic bolt support system. The project aims to bolster the safety and productivity of Australian underground mines as they embark on mining deep and high-stressed orebodies, using lower cost large cave mining methods.

UNSW Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Professor Sven Rogge said he was pleased to see UNSW researchers working with industry and the community to develop products for commercial use. “UNSW researchers have once again received funding for the greatest number of projects in the recent CRC-P funding round. It’s pleasing to see UNSW researchers develop strong relationships with industry and community partners, translating research into positive outcomes for society,” Professor Rogge said.

Professor Saydam noted that mining companies need to implement new technologies and continue operating sustainably, in order to access deeper orebodies economically. Professor Saydam added that one of the major hazards in deep underground mining is rockburst; the violent, high-velocity ejection of rock into an excavation resulting from seismic activity or high rock stress which may cause disruptions and safety issues. “Considering such a health and safety challenge and substantial financial loss, the development of reliable ground support elements is paramount for mining operations. The dynamic bolts aimed to be developed by our project will address these issues. The most productive collaborations are strategic and long-term ones, and a shared research vision continues for a long time founding deep professional ties, trust and shared benefits. UNSW is proud to have previously collaborated with Jennmar Australia in three ARC Linkage Projects,” Professor Saydam said.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Mishainik

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