e2v has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Rio Tinto, the leading international mining group, to develop large-scale ProWave™ microwave and radio frequency generators for use in mineral recovery. Rio Tinto will partner with e2v to develop machines to improve the efficiency of mineral recovery from previously discarded ore.
The partnership will enable the mining company to scale up its mineral recovery platforms such as the Copper NuWave™ technology which is expected to be trialled later this year at Kennecott Utah Copper in the United States.
Rio Tinto’s head of innovation, John McGagh said, “Rio Tinto’s Copper NuWave™ programme will enable e2v to work with us to build microwave generators of a scale not previously seen in industrial application that are safe, reliable and that we can deploy commercially.
“This will provide us with highly efficient microwave power and help us achieve our goal to recover ore from previously mined material that would normally have been discarded. If we can commercialise this technology at scale it will be akin to tapping into a new ore body. This is world-class technology that will ensure Rio Tinto continues to lead the way in the mining sector.”
Vince Cable, UK Secretary of State for Business, recently announced that e2v had been awarded a £6.25 million grant under the Regional Growth Fund, administered by the UK Department for Business Innovation and Skills, which e2v will use to invest in capacity and facilities to create jobs and increase design, engineering, manufacturing and test capabilities in their ProWave industrial processing systems.
Cable commented: "The UK economy needs partnerships like these; two leaders in their field, working together on hi-tech projects with a strong export focus. This shows the benefit of targeted investment from the Government's Regional Growth Fund and how it can help companies grow and expand into new markets. I am pleased that support through the fund is being put to such positive and immediate use."