Graeme Jameson’s technologies use trillions of bubbles to add billions of dollars to the value of Australia’s mineral and energy industries.
Graeme took flotation, a century-old technology developed in Broken Hill, and transformed it. A turbulent cloud of minute bubbles are pushed through a slurry of ground-up ore where they pick up tiny mineral particles and carry them to the surface.
His Jameson Cell was developed in 1980 to concentrate base metals
such as copper, lead, and zinc. But it has found many more applications, most profitably in the Australian coal industry, where to date the Jameson Cell has retrieved fine export coal particles worth more than $36 billion.
Now, Graeme is working on a newer version of his technology. The Novacell can concentrate larger ore particles, and save up to 15 per cent of the total energy expended in extraction and processing in mining—reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well.
Graeme is Laureate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Newcastle and Director of its Centre for Multiphase Processes.
Graeme Jameson received the inaugural $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in 2015.