Research (April 01, 2006)
International association visits Toronto
A major delegation from the Australian-based minerals research broker AMIRA International spent a week in Toronto in late March, to boost its profile on this continent. The conference follows the establishment late last year of a branch in Toronto, headed by Andrew Marchbank.
The 47-year-old association of mining companies and suppliers has grown from an Australian entity to a global one, managing projects valued at Aus$40-45 million at any one time. Members choose which collaborative research projects that they want to fund, and help to choose the university-based researchers who will do the work. A typical project size will support a PhD student over three years at a cost of about $200,000, but some projects last up to a decade or more.
Both large and mid-size mining companies and suppliers can benefit from gaining access to leading-edge research at a fraction of what it would cost to fund it alone. North American members include Barrick Gold, Cameco, Hatch Associates, Phelps Dodge, Newmont, Teck Cominco and others.
Chairman Peter Charlesworth characterizes AMIRA International’s projects as ‘pre-competitive research’: “It’s not about just getting the results; it’s about what you do with the information that you get.”
So far, Marchbank has focused on meeting North America’s top researchers. Once he has a number of projects in mind, he will visit prospective member companies. He can be reached at email@example.com or tel 905-901-1142.