Using trillions of tiny bubbles this flotation technology separates valuable minerals from host rock, resulting in a more efficient and cost effective mining process.
Its inventor is Graeme Jameson, Laureate Professor at the University of Newcastle and inaugural recipient of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation, who commercialised the technology in the 1980s. Since that time, it has been used across many applications, most profitably in the Australian coal industry, where the Jameson Cell has retrieved fine export coal particles worth more than $36 billion.
Now, 30 years on, Graeme Jameson is about to commercialise a newer version of his technology. Able to concentrate larger ore particles, the Novacell will save up to 15 per cent of the total energy expended in mining extraction and processing and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Ideas like this boost our economy and improve our environment. But they can only get off the ground thanks to universities. So let’s keep Australia clever.