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National consortium on mine closure passes first hurdle

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A proposed Cooperative Research Centre for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC-TiME) is one step closer as one of only six proposed centres to progress to Stage 2 in Round 21 of the Australian Government’s CRC Program.

Hosted by The University of Western Australia and the University of Queensland, CRC-TiME brings together 50 leading mining companies, the Minerals Council of Australia, mining equipment, technology and services (METS) companies, regional development organisations, local, State and Commonwealth governments and research partners.

UQ’s Sustainable Minerals Institute and CRC-TiME’s Research Director Professor Anna Littleboy said mine closure had been identified as a challenge by the mining industry and affected communities.

“Australia has an abundance of natural resources and its mining-led economy contributes greatly to Australia’s wealth and living standards,” she said.

“But there are numerous major Australian operations scheduled for closure in the next two to 10 years.”

 

UWA’s and CRC-TiME’s CEO Associate Professor Guy Boggs said the CRC-TiME would make a significant contribution in developing a rehabilitation and environmental management economy.

“The project will also encourage private sector investment and innovation to create jobs that will service mining-facilitated sustainability outcomes,” Professor Boggs said.

“It will deliver stronger regional economies and Indigenous livelihoods by exploring opportunities mine closure investment may present for local business development and employment, and how re-purposing mined land and infrastructure can contribute to regional development opportunities.”

The CRC-TiME will undertake social, environmental, economic and technical research through integrated programs that work directly with industry and communities. It will also drive capacity building, education and training to address key challenges as raised by the 2018 Senate Inquiry into Mining Rehabilitation.

The CRC-TiME Chair, Dr Bruce Kelly, said Australia has a reputation for ensuring responsible mining and resource activities.

“The CRC-TiME will enhance Australia’s position as a world leader in the development of environmental practices and robust environmental regulations. This will ensure that we continue to attract new mining investment and capital expenditure in changing global economic conditions and markets,” he said.

UWA Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dawn Freshwater, welcomed the Minister’s announcement.

“Collaborative research efforts like this can create real-world productivity improvements that lead to jobs in the mining sector and beyond,” Professor Freshwater said.

“We look forward to this CRC bid progressing through the next stage.”

 

CRC-TiME will invest more than $60 million in cash and bring a further $73 million in support from partners over 10 years.

Current partners include BHP, Rio Tinto, Deswik, Decipher, the state governments of WA, Queensland and the Northern Territory, as well as researchers from leading Australian universities and the CSIRO.

 

Originally published by UWA. 

 

 

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