MIRL continues to aid the state in the development of Alaska's minerals with study and research activities in these areas:
Hydrometallurgical and electrochemical processing
Mineral market evaluations
Mining frozen ground
Mine and mill design
Coal characterization, beneficiation and utilization
Environmental concerns associated with mining and metallurgy
Facilities & Laboratories
Having access to laboratories and facilities that are not available to most universities gives MIRL an edge over others.
Mineral Processing Lab
These are a set of laboratories where common mineral processing (such crushing, grinding, gravity separation, flotation, acid leaching, zeta potential etc) testing can be conducted. Combined with UAF Advanced Instrument Laboratory facilities, detailed investigations starting from mineral to mineral processing can be conducted.
Equipped for research on leaching, precipitation and solvent extraction.
ICP/DCP, AA, and XRD are available for research and a variety of instrumentation including XRF, quantitative electron micro-probe analysis (EPMA), and electron microscopes is available at UAF’s Advanced Instrumentation Laboratory.
The Mine Ventilation Laboratory has the most advanced instruments for the measurements of atmospheric environmental conditions (gas, dust, heat and humidity velocity and pressure of air) in mines. The unique feature of the laboratory is a mine model (as two mine airways in parallel). Two fans are of centrifugal type and blow air into the airways. The fans can be operated in parallel. A "CONSPEC Senturion 500 Mine Ventilation monitoring and control system" which is an integral part of the ventilation laboratory has been installed for remote and continuous monitoring of mine environment.
Rock Mechanics Lab
Laboratory for rock and soil testing. Available equipment includes a universal testing machine (330,000 lbs) with an environmental chamber, a 100,000 lb creep testing frame, tensile strength testing machine, a 20,000 psi confining pressure pump, triaxial cells of various sizes, and direct shear testing apparatus.
Well equipped for research in the following areas: spontaneous combustion, low-range coal thermal upgrading, coal processing, coal characterization, coal utilization, coal-water-fuel preparation and utilization, coal oxidation, and coal ash utilization.
This lab specializes in the application of computational techniques such as artificial intelligence to mine data from geology, mineral processing, and mine systems.