CSIRO and BHP Billiton increase collaboration

May 14, 2009

A new agreement aimed at increasing collaboration between CSIRO and BHP Billiton will deliver significant benefits to both organisations, the iron ore, manganese and metallurgical coal industries, and Australia.

Under the plan, BHP Billiton's iron ore, manganese and coke-making research capabilities will be relocated to the Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies (QCAT).

The precinct houses five CSIRO divisions, a number of National Research Flagships, a Defence Science and Technology Organisation research facility, Rio Tinto Alcan's research facilities and several private companies involved in the resources sector.

CSIRO Group Executive Manufacturing, Materials and Minerals, Dr Steve Morton said the relocation of BHP Billiton's researchers to the QCAT site provides an opportunity to ensure Australia remains competitive in the global minerals market.

"The minerals industry is a huge export earner for Australia, yet it's facing major challenges," Dr Morton said.

"In the iron ore sector, for example, increasing demand, changing ore properties, higher processing costs, and increasing competition from countries such as Brazil means we need to work smarter to ensure Australian ores meet the needs of the end-user - the iron and steel making industries.

"Having BHP Billiton and CSIRO researchers working more closely together will ensure we better understand the industry's needs and that our expertise and capabilities are used effectively to address these needs."

BHP Billiton Vice President Technical Marketing, Paul Donaldson said that utilising the expertise of researchers from both organisations would lead to enhanced outcomes.

"Working collaboratively will foster reciprocal knowledge sharing and encourage technical debate on theories and specific research findings," says Mr Donaldson.

"The collective knowledge of CSIRO, BHP Billiton and industry contacts will lead to a deeper understanding of the factors that influence the use of raw materials in the global steel industry, and how this will affect Australia's minerals industry in the future."

BHP Billiton plans to relocate 15 researchers to the Queensland Centre of Advanced Technologies from July 2009.
-end-
Image available at: http://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/mediarelease/mr09-85.html

Further Information:
Dr Bart Follink, CSIRO Minerals
Ph:03 9545 8605

Media Assistance:
Marina Johnson CSIRO Minerals
Ph:03 9545 8746
Mb: 0422 393 486
E:Marina.Johnson@csiro.au

www.csiro.au

CSIRO Australia

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