Curtin University staff and students have had the opportunity to experience the mining industry on a global scale after an international field trip to some of Europe’s leading mineral companies and research institutes.
Visiting Finland, Norway and England over three weeks, 14 staff and students from Curtin’s Western Australian School of Mines (WASM) visited a number of industry and university minerals leaders, including Outotec’s headquarters in Finland, Xstrata Nikkelverk Refinery and NTNU-SINTEF in Norway and Weir Minerals’ European headquarters, as well as the University of Sheffield and Camborne School of Mines in the United Kingdom.
Field trip organiser and WASM Associate Lecturer, James Didovich, said the trip provided an excellent opportunity to engage and network with a wide range of professionals within the industry, and to see and learn about technologies and processes not available in Australia.
“We also found out more about where Australia fits in terms of the global metallurgical industry, by learning about the global strategies of companies like Outotec and Weir Minerals, and from seeing the final refining stages of metals that have originated from mines in Australia,” Mr Didovich said.
“Also, learning more about global research, such as the developments in titanium alloy fabrication at the University of Sheffield has given us a significant insight into the potential future direction for our industry.”
Mr Didovich said the opportunity to observe the metallurgical practices of other countries was invaluable for students.
“Being able to see the manufacturing facilities and practices of Outotec Filters and Weir Minerals was a great way of consolidating the knowledge about metallurgical practices learned in the classroom,” he said.
“Students have said the experience has helped them to learn new approaches to problem solving and by observing the integration between industry and research groups on an international scale, they have seen firsthand how these relationships contribute to the creation of new technologies.”
Sponsors of the 2011 WASM Metallurgy International Field Trip were; Weir Minerals Australia, KCGM, ALS Ammtec Metallurgy, Xstrata Nickel, Western Areas, Manta Controls, Metso Minerals (Aust), MT Gibson Mining, OMC, Newcrest, Newmont Australia, Mega Lake, AMEC Minproc, Cape Lambert, African Iron, Talison Lithium and IMO.
Andrea Barnard, Public Relations, Curtin University
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