Curtin’s work in commercialising an innovative minerals exploration technique that uses sound waves to create a detailed 3D image of underground ore deposits was recognised at the Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA) annual conference in Sydney last night.
Curtin received the KCA Research Commercialisation Award for its work to create HiSeis Pty Ltd, a company that was established to commercialise the new technology and meet increasing demand for commercial seismic imaging in the minerals industry.
Lead researcher Associate Professor Milovan Urosevic, from Curtin’s Western Australian School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering, said seismic reflection was the most effective exploration tool available to the oil and gas industry but had not been successfully applied to hard-rock exploration.
“My team, which included Professor Anton Kepic, developed and adapted existing seismic imaging technology so that it could be applied to ore bodies in a hard rock environment, which has attracted great interest from the mining industry due to the benefits offered,” Professor Urosevic said.
“Over a number of years, we developed the technology for better definition of ore resources, including many successful field trials that resulted in growing industry interest and the opportunity to commercialise the technology.
“Our seismic survey methods help mining companies to fast-track mineral discovery, reduce exploration and mining costs, and improve mine planning and safety.”
Curtin University Commercialisation Director Rohan McDougall said Curtin had supported HiSeis since its inception and the company had operated profitably from day one.
“HiSeis continues to achieve a strong financial performance working for blue-chip mining companies around the world, contributing greatly to Perth’s growing reputation as a mining services hub,” Mr McDougall said.
“Last year we worked with HiSeis to arrange a sale that brought in new owners who have since taken the company to a position of even greater strength.
“HiSeis maintains not just a research relationship with Curtin but employs Curtin graduates and has graduates among its shareholders, while Curtin retains a shareholding to participate in future upside. It’s a fantastic example of translating research outcomes into significant economic impact for what is a strategic industry for WA and Australia.”