A home-grown Queensland business is creating jobs by manufacturing machines that are making mining cleaner and greener while saving precious water in the process.
Minister for Resources Scott Stewart said Lytton-based Phibion will be shipping a multi-million dollar MudMaster® machine to Chile this week – its first to the South American nation.
“Innovation and manufacturing are key parts of the Palaszczuk Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, and businesses like Phibion are showing the world what can be done on our shores,” Mr Stewart said.
“Built in Brisbane and exported all over the globe, the MudMaster® is designed to consolidate tailings and recover water from mine tailings dams – facilities designed to hold waste products generated by mine sites.”
Mr Stewart and Member for Lytton Joan Pease toured the site to inspect the MudMaster® and see how the technology can make tailings dams safer, smaller, and more sustainable.
The technology allows reduced volume of tailings by extracting water for re-use, reducing the size of the dam required, and providing essential water for operations.
The result is a tailings site that can be handed back to the community, rehabilitated, and revegetated.
Mr Stewart said Phibion was a well-known local business which was now growing around the world.
“In 2018 the business was presented a Queensland Export Award by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, winning the Environmental Solutions category,” he said.
“The MudMaster® was designed in Queensland, built in Queensland, and shows what Queenslanders are capable of achieving in both mining and manufacturing.
“Research is continuing with the University of Queensland, as part of a long-term partnership with Phibion, developing additional sensors to further expand how this technology can be applied.
“This innovation is quite literally forging a path to safer, smaller, and more sustainable tailings dams – saving water and creating jobs in the process.”
Ms Pease said it was fantastic to see innovation and job creation in the local area.
“The Palaszczuk Government welcomes and supports businesses like Phibion taking on the globe from right here in our backyard,” Ms Pease said.
Phibion CEO Jacques Janse said he was delighted to be taking this Queensland innovation into the Chilean market.
“I am confident Phibion will contribute to improved tailings management in the region,” Mr Janse said.
Phibion founder David Smirk said Chile is an ideal region for solutions provided by the company.
“Phibion values the protection of natural resources, and we pride ourselves on delivering a solution that contributes to the sustainability of two of the earth’s most valuable assets, land and water,” Mr Smirk said.