High-tech expansion of OMS Research Centre for the extractive industries

The Oulu Mining School Research Centre, the teaching and basic research unit of the extractive industries at the University of Oulu, has expanded and now serves all of the research needs of the extractive industries in geoscience, applied geophysics, as well as mining and refining technology.  It is also used by other technology fields at the university and by private industry.

The OMS Research Centre makes versatile research equipment and methods available to researchers in the study of all types of ores. The centre is now using upgraded laboratories for grinding, preliminary treatment of samples, and geochemistry, among other things. A thin section laboratory is being set up. The centre recently got its own stamping mill. Supplementing the selection at the OMS Centre is equipment from the university's Center of Microscopy and Nanotechnology.

"The OMS Research Centre is made unique by the steady state automised and modular froth flotation refinery that is in use. The aim is that it will soon also become the first completely closed refinery in the world", says Project Manager Ilkka Hynynen at OMS. The refinery has been in use since 2012. It has now been expanded by introducing an open automation and ICT architecture in cooperation with Schnider Electric and Slatek Oy.

"The open interfaces offered by the solution that was carried out are very important from the point of view of the adaptability of the research centre. They enable multidisciplinary research cooperation at the university among different units and the flexible and easy integration of the technologies using open interfaces of our cooperative partners and our customers to the technical infrastructure our research environment. This enables us to make our modern research environment available for the use of as many actors as possible", says Professor Saija Luukkanen, director of the OMS Research Centre.

Users of the expanded equipment of the OMS Research Centre can be found at the university in areas including the fields of machine diagnostics, automation, control engineering, and in electrical and information technology. Corporate cooperative partners include all key companies in the extractive industries in Finland and Sweden.

The basic research of the OMS Centre covers all phases of the extractive industries from ore prospecting to ore refining as well as the treatment and recycling of process waters. Key targets are the new research and measurement methods connected with the various phases.  "New research information is needed, for instance for reducing energy consumption in mines, that is, in the development of sustainable mining", says Hynynen.

OMS Research Center brochure

 

Main photo: Mineralogist Markku Seitsaari in the control room of the froth flotation refinery of the OMS Research Centre.

Last updated: 1.6.2018