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I am currently working across these sectors

  • I am mapping of the current and historical industrial ecosystem as it transitions away from fossil fuels.  The current industrial, economic, and societal dependency on fossil fuels (oil, gas, and coal) is being examined.  The industrial footprint of manufacture and the geographical footprint of the complex value chain is examined.  The relationship between energy, minerals, technology, and economics is examined. The declining Energy Returned on Energy Invested (ERoEI) ratio for all energy systems is being examined.  Fossil fuel resource depletion and peak oil is being studied.  The purpose of this has been to understand when and how the current industrial system will deteriorate and phase out.

  • Non-fossil fuel electrical power generation systems and alternative energy systems of all kinds are being examined and studied.  From an engineering perspective, the performance, logistics of operation, raw material construction requirements and possible evolution for all energy systems is being investigated.  This includes the Energy Returned on Energy Invested (ERoEI) ratio for all energy systems is being examined.   Systems include wind, solar, nuclear, hydroelectric, geothermal, CHP biomass heat to waste and unorthodox energy systems.  The purpose of this was to examine the feasibility of the planned Green Transition, which is the existing strategic plan to transition away from fossil fuels.  The current state of non-fossil fuel energy systems may not be strong enough to replace fossil fuels as we use them now.  The task to phase out fossil fuels is much larger than first thought.

  • Mineral Intelligence is a new discipline, where the data patterns within the mining industry, and its customers are examined.  The rates of discovery for new deposits have been falling, while consumption has been increasing.  Ore grade being processed has been declining, energy consumption and potable water consumption have been increasing.  This suggests the approach of a new era of mining, where recycling may become more economically attractive.  Also, one nation (China) now dominates the industrial ecosystem, where 80 years ago the industrial ecosystem used to be distributed relatively evenly across the global continents.  This work has been used to map out the metal quantities required to manufacture just the first generation renewable technology units (Electric Vehicles EV, Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, batteries, wind turbines and solar panels).  Work done has shown that existing global mining production is not even close to being sufficient.  Also, existing global minerals reserves are also not sufficient.  This work implies that non-fossil fuel systems will are dependent on minerals and metals.  Minerals will become the new oil, but which ones?  Metals and minerals of all kinds are about to become much more valuable.  A Renaissance of mineral exploration and mining is predicted.

  • I am developing the concept of the Circular Economy.  Currently the Circular Economy does not account for primary mining for the vast bulk of our metal consumption.  I believe that there could be a way of merging mining and industrial recycling.  I am trying to bring process engineering and geometallurgical characterization experience from the Australian mining industry and is applying it to develop aspects of secondary residue valorization.   The key to this is understanding the relationship between what manufacturing requires and what is possible with recycling of waste streams.  I have been studying different energy generation systems and how they interrelate in terms of the Energy Return on Energy Investment ratio analysis and quantity of energy at the point of application.  Over time, I have developed an understanding of what I believe is a coming change in practice that will transform the industrial system we now have to something else, which also implies a change in business model behind industrialization.  the Circular Economy is a gateway to this.  Thus, the current plan to replace fossil fuels is actually a steppingstone to something else.

  • I am developing Geometallurgy capability at GTK, some very talented colleagues.  This is the systems modelling of the mining process, where the process separation signatures (flotation, leaching, etc.) are characterized and linked to mineralogical signatures.  This in conjunction with machine learning applied to mineral process engineering could be the next generation of industrial practice.

  • I am developing the methodology to rehabilitate historical industrial waste sites and mine tailing dams.  For example, take an existing site that has a high acid mine drainage (AMD) environmental impact, extract the problem metals and minerals, clean the water, reestablish the soil food web (balance the minerals and add organic matter), reestablish the natural life systems, and create a stable new biodiversity hub.  This work could also be used to rehabilitate land sterilized by inappropriate use of industrial agriculture. 

  • I am also assisting (there are many people doing this) in developing the GTK-Mintec pilot plant in context of evolving its technical capability in context of sophisticated instrumentation, to develop a new paradigm in mineral process engineering practice.  He believes that process plants need to be considered simultaneously as a whole circuit and as a collection of individual units, where each process unit also needs to be mass balanced in terms of mineralogy as well as mass transfer.  In this manner, bottlenecks can be isolated, and vulnerabilities can be identified.  Previous process engineering work has been in rock breakage, blast fragmentation and comminution.  The application of machine learning and artificial intelligence could be the breakthrough to make this happen.

  • I am interested in mapping the environmental fallout of industrialization, current and historical.

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