Mining, Minerals Processing and Metallurgy Technology

Our attorneys are equipped with an impressive array of technical qualifications including in:

  • mechanical, civil, structural engineering
  • mining, pumping and drilling
  • pneumatic and hydraulic devices and systems
  • minerals processing and analysis
  • metallurgy and materials science
  • chemical and process engineering
  • robotics and vehicle automation
  • electrical and electronics engineering
  • industrial control systems
  • heavy equipment engineering
  • mineral flotation technology
  • electrolytic recovery devices.

We work with:

  • leading research centres and universities with global IP portfolios which will recoup tens of millions of dollars in productivity gains for the Australian mining sector
  • excavation machinery manufacturers
  • ground control and roof support systems manufacturers and
  • mineral processing equipment manufacturers.

As attorneys and lawyers, we measure our success by that of our clients’. Examples are presented below.

Newcastle Innovation Limited

In 2013 the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration presented Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson AO with the Antoine M Gaudin Award for outstanding contributions to both engineering science and industrial technology at the Society’s Annual Meeting in Colorado. This annual award is among the world’s most prestigious in the field.

Professor Jameson is well known for his invention of the acclaimed Jameson Cell, a radically different flotation device that changed the face of mineral processing and now contributes in the region of $4 billion a year in minerals exports to the Australian economy.

The Cell is now in use in more than 300 locations in 20 countries and has been hailed the most financially successful Australian invention in three decades.

Professor Jameson has more than 200 publications to his credit and is named as the inventor on 54 patents. He has received a myriad of awards in recognition of his achievements, including in 2005 an Officer of the Order of Australia award and the prestigious Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal from the Institution of Engineers Australia for outstanding service to his profession. Since 1996 Professor Jameson has been inducted as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

Shelston IP has been acting for Professor Jameson for over 30 years.

CRCMining’s ‘SmartCap’

In 2011, the Cooperative Research Centre for Mining developed a baseball cap headware technology to measure and manage drowsiness in real time, in order to overcome a significant driver fatigue problem in the coal mining industry. Known as the SmartCap Operator Fatigue Management System, the baseball cap technology solves a problem identified in the mining industry and is expected to be of much wider benefit to other workplaces where fatigue is a major concern.

Supported by CRCMining member Anglo American Metallurgical Coal (AAMC), the SmartCap evolved from a field-proven prototype in 2008 to commercial trials in 2010. AngloAmerican’s strategy was to deploy the driver headware to its heavy vehicle drivers and heavy machine operators at its coal mine sites across Australia, followed by its overseas locations.

Each baseball cap contains electroencephalogram (EEG) brain monitoring sensors concealed in the cap lining and uses an operator’s brain wave information to calculate a measure of drowsiness. This calculation is wirelessly communicated to a display in-cab, or to any Bluetooth enabled device to alert the driver or operator of fatigue. Such fatigue is most pervasive in long-haul transport and heavy industries such as construction and mining, where it is responsible for hundreds of fatalities and injuries each year as well as millions of dollars in lost productivity. In the absence of appropriate fatigue management strategies and technologies, this problem is exacerbated by the combination of an aging workforce and increasing demands on operators to achieve production quota.

With the look and feel of a typical baseball cap, the SmartCap has overcome operator acceptance problems experienced at mining sites where camera or response based technologies have been implemented in the past.