Finnish processing technology specialist Metso Corporation has signed a strategic research agreement focusing on energy-efficient minerals concentration.

Under the five-year agreement Metso will work with the University of Queensland's JKTech division to develop next-generation energy-efficient minerals processing technologies in cooperation with mining companies in Chile.

The agreement is part of a program in which Metso and JKTech SPA will cooperate with Chilean mining operators, conducting research at existing mines in Chile.

The research program has four principal themes: primary grinding, ball mill grinding, classification and coarse particle flotation. The goal is to advance the development of equipment and methods that will enable the construction of the next-generation mineral concentrator that could improve existing plant performance and could also be utilized at other mines around the world.

Throughout their work, the parties will seek to improve productivity and achieve greater energy and water efficiency.

JKTech SPA and Metso are currently holding discussions with Chilean mining companies that have expressed an interest in the research program and the co-creation model for technology development. In addition to Metso, JKTech and the participating mining companies, a number of specialists in the various fields of study will lend their expertise on a consultancy basis.

JKTech is the technology transfer company for the Sustainable Minerals Institute of the University of Queensland in Australia. JKTech SPA is involved in SMI-ICE Chile, an International Center of Excellence in Mining which is one of 12 centers established by the Chilean Ministry of Economy and the Chilean Economic Development Agency to develop the country as a regional innovation hub across a broad range of industries.