MEInetwork23 Seminar #2: Uranium mining and refining

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The Melbourne Energy Institute hosted the second instalment in the MEInetwork23 Seminar Series.

With a focus on uranium mining and refining, this seminar was presented by Dr Neilesh Syna, Senior Hydrometallurgist at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

The presentation described the mining and processing of uranium, and the role Australia plays in the front-end of the nuclear fuel cycle. Some recent innovations within the mining and processing of uranium were also be discussed.

Discussion was moderated by Associate Professor Kathryn Mumford, Head of Department, Chemical Engineering, and Hydrogen and Clean Fuels Program Leader at the Melbourne Energy Institute. The seminar was hosted as a hybrid event, delivered in person and streamed online.


View the recording

View the slides


Dr Neilesh Syna
Senior Hydrometallurgist
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)

Neilesh Syna is a Senior Hydrometallurgist at ANSTO, working within the Minerals Business Unit, where he is responsible for the project management and process development activities. He has over 20 years of hydrometallurgical experience, specific to the commodities of copper, gold, molybdenum, uranium and vanadium. He joined ANSTO in 2015, prior to that he was employed as a ChargĂ© d’affaires with ORANO in France, where he was responsible for supporting the front-end nuclear fuel cycle activities in the areas of business development, operational and project support, test work services and research and innovation programs. He holds a BSc (Hons) from James Cook University and a PhD from The University of Sydney. He is a member of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM).


Associate Professor Kathryn Mumford,
Head of Department, Chemical Engineering
Hydrogen and Clean Fuels Program Leader, Melbourne Energy Institute

Associate Professor Kathryn Mumford is the Head Of Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of Melbourne. Kathryn's research interests are in the areas of separations processes specifically ion exchange, solvent absorption and solvent extraction technologies. These interests range from the manufacture of novel materials, to the development of novel thermodynamic models to predict performance, and onto large scale implementation in the mining, energy, environmental and waste water processing fields.

Kathryn currently teaches in the Masters of Engineering (Chemical) program, namely Chemical Engineering Management and Heat and Mass Transport Processes subjects. Kathryn is also the Leader of the  Hydrogen and Clean Fuels Program at the Melbourne Energy Institute.


To transform our energy system, we first need to understand how it works. The MEInetwork Seminar Series aims to give participants a sound understanding of the current technical and economic factors that underpin the Australian energy system. Knowledge of these market factors is critical in determining the changes required to move towards a clean energy system.

Each year, the Seminar Series takes a deep dive into the complete supply and value chain of one of our primary energy vectors. In 2023, the MEInetwork23 Seminar Series will be comprised of five seminars on the topic of energy commodities, investigating operation of  crude oil and product supply chains, uranium mining and refining, energy commodity trading, new energy commodities and critical minerals, and fiscal policy to support future energy commodity exports.

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