Kevin Minson

Kevin Minson


    Dr Robert Becher recognised for his contribution to minerals reaearch in WA

    22/11/1996 12:00 AM



    Dr Robert Becher has been recognised for his substantial contribution to minerals research in Western Australia with today's naming of the State's mineral processing laboratory facility in his honour.


    The naming of the R G Becher Building took place on site at Waterford and was attended by Dr Becher, 82, of Floreat and members of his family.


    The function also included the signing of a collaborative agreement between the site's three neighbours - the Department of Minerals and Energy's Mineral Processing Laboratory, CSIRO Division of Minerals and Curtin University's School of Chemical Engineering.


    Mines Minister Kevin Minson said during this morning's ceremony that the naming of the facility in Dr Becher's honour was a fitting tribute to his significant contribution to the minerals industry and the organisation in which he carried out his most innovative work.


    "The Becher Process, developed by Dr Becher when he worked for the State Government, produces synthetic rutile from ilmenite," Mr Minson said.


    "The process was used in the production of 408,521 tonnes of synthetic rutile in WA in 1995-96, worth $199.6 million."


    Mr Minson said WA's mineral research capabilities were further emphasised by the tripartite agreement to formalise a unique collaboration in the field of minerals research.


    "The collaboration is of significant importance to the WA economy which relies heavily on the mining industry and will have a big impact in the future in adding value to processing the State's mineral resources," he said.


    "WA has long been recognised for its world-class resources and for having one of the largest, most competitive and technologically advanced mining industries in the world.


    "Many areas of our research and education skills in mineral resources are also world-class."


    The Minister said the centre offered a convenient, integrated research and testing facility to service the needs of the minerals industry in WA, as well as other States and overseas.


    Media contacts: Caroline Lacy (09) 222 9211 Lynley Jenkins (09) 222 3527