World-first technology at heart of Innovation Partnership

Cleaner, safer, world-leading technology – pitted to play a critical role in the mining sector’s ability to transition to net zero carbon emissions – is at the centre of the latest Resource Centre of Excellence (RCoE) Innovator in Residence tenure.

Mackay-based company, RTI – Real Time Instruments, develops and manufactures on-conveyor, elemental, and moisture analysers for more than 300 mining, resources, and power-generation operations, in more than 60 countries, worldwide.

Their innovative and cutting-edge technology – which provides operators with data about the composition of their bulk materials in real-time, enabling them to make intelligent, time-critical decisions – caught the attention of RCoE chief executive Steven Boxall, who invited the company to partner with the centre.

RTI’s newest bit of kit, the AllScan n-Gen, is the cornerstone of its partnership with RCoE.

RTI Head of Research and Innovation, Robin Sheehy, said the n-Gen heralded a new era in cleaner, safer on-line elemental analysis in ore sorting, stockpile, and bulk material management, as the only elemental analyser in the world to use a long-life neutron-generator source to analyse elemental composition, instead of the traditional PGNAA (prompt gamma neutron activation analysis) technology, which uses a californium (Cf-252) isotope source.

Mr Sheehy said RTI’s first AllScan n-Gen was expected to be commissioned at a Bowen Basin coal mine within the next couple of months, while the neutron generator of the second would be staged at RCoE, where to undergo testing and pre-install calibration in preparation for its specific application.

He said as well as the laboratory work, the Innovator in Residence program gave RTI the chance to showcase and test its on-conveyor analysers – including its AllScan, AshScan, and MoistScan kit – in an environment as close to in-situ as was possible without going to site.

“The benefits of having this calibre of facility available to us – with clean and controlled laboratory conditions through to the simulated underground environment means we can undertake a full spectrum of research and development – from laboratory to site – and all within a 20-minute drive of our headquarters at Mackay Marina,” Mr Sheehy said.

RTI CEO Praanesh Prasad said the three-month tenure would be a game-changer for the business, helping to consolidate its commitment to delivering real outcomes to mining and power generation companies in this transition.

“We are excited and privileged to have this strong association with the RCOE,” Mr Prasad said.

“We hold a shared vision of commitment to industry-leading solutions across a range of issues.

“Safety, efficiency, productivity and clarity in decision making resonates with all of our mining and minerals clients globally and we see this as being just the beginning of a partnership with RCoE, enabling us to do what we do best – playing a critical role in deploying real solutions in the transition to carbon neutral energy provision.”

Mr Prasad said the RCoE tenure, and ongoing relationship through the development of the centre’s second stage, was also congruent with RTI’s commitment to finding solutions in the critical minerals space.

Mr Boxall said RTI’s suite of world-leading analysers, and the fact they were designed, manufactured, and calibrated for the world market from their Mackay world HQ made them a leader in the region’s innovation space – and an ideal Innovator in Residence.

He said the synergies between the company’s business model, which was focused on AI and technology development as well as future workforce, and the RCoE’s strategic direction were immediately apparent.

“Two years ago, when we set the strategic direction of the RCoE, we committed to make this a space for exactly this kind of innovation,” Mr Boxall said.

“Aimed at supporting Mackay Isaac Whitsunday innovative companies, RTI is our second official Innovator in Residence, following on from Vayeron.

“The RCOE Innovator in Residence program has received significant interest and recognition from a range of stake holders including major mining houses, state government dept and researchers.”

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