Industry Access by BHP Billiton to the University of Adelaide

Problem: BHP Billiton need to monitor efficiency of mineral recovery from Olympic Dam ore and determine how to optimise processing to extract the most gold, copper and uranium from the ore.

Solution: Through the AMMRF, BHP Billiton obtains regular access to the electron microprobe and scanning electron microscopes at the University of Adelaide. Their personnel analyse the ore and tailings samples from the mine. Through their microscopy a processing flaw was detected, which when corrected saved BHP Billiton considerable sums of money (many millions of dollars) in the first year alone. These savings will accumulate to be very significant over the life of the process change.