Minerals and mining

Our world depends on a huge variety of materials that are obtained by drilling and mining. With environmental issues having rapidly risen to prime importance, and the regulatory framework imposing greater constraints, there are increasing pressures to innovate, improve efficiency and reduce costs, starting with extraction and continuing with the processing and refinement needed to produce materials of the required quality. Materials modelling has a long history of contributing to earth sciences in general and the drilling and mining industries particularly.

Our case studies give examples of collaborative projects between TYC groups and the minerals and mining sector.

Examples of materials modelling in materials modelling being undertaken by the TYC in this area include:

  • Probing the mechanisms of rock fracture to improve the energy efficiency of rock crushing
  • Water-clay interactions and the swelling of clay minerals
  • Gas hydrates relevant to sea-floor drilling
  • Defects and impurities in diamond
  • Improving the efficiency of the Bayer process for aluminium extraction
  • Reducing the brittleness of tungsten carbide and other super-hard materials