The federal government’s announcement of a new Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) provides a unique collaborative research opportunity to support regional communities facing mine closures.

Iron sulphide minerals pyrite and pyrrhotite were mined at the Brukunga open pit mine site in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. 

As Australia's national science agency, CSIRO will bring expertise across environment, indigenous and regional engagement, mining technology, systems integration,
and data processing and management into the new CRC on Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC-TiME).

The $29.5 million funding announcement for the CRC by federal Science Minister Karen Andrews MP today is part of a total 10-year investment of $135.4 million to support
the successful transition of mining communities to form sustainable community and development opportunities.

The CRC is jointly led by the University of Western Australia and the University of Queensland.

Partnership between industry, government, academia and regional communities

The centre brings together a unique partnership that includes 75 mining industry, government, METS companies, research organisation, including CSIRO, and community/regional groups with a vision for sustainable mine closures and community and regional development opportunities in Australia.

CEO Dr Guy Boggs said, "CRC TiME has the potential to create hundreds of new opportunities and regional jobs through the implementation of restoration activities and increased supply of closure and post closure products and services."

Senior scientist Dr Jason Kirby, who leads CSIRO's involvement in the CRC, said "the scale of investment across community, government and industry will have major benefits for regional Australia with several large mines reaching their end and closing in the near future."

Supporting the transition to a sustainable post-mining future

"This effort will support regions to transition to a more prosperous and sustainable post-mining future, acknowledging the need for whole-of-community benefit, including indigenous futures, environmental restoration, and economic outcomes."

CSIRO's role is to support the collaborative research programmes and assist the CRC to establish nationally recognised demonstration sites where technology and
solutions can be shown to bring positive benefits to the community and to mine closures.

"The demonstration sites will provide an avenue to assess, test and showcase technologies and solutions through a unique collaborative platform." Dr Kirby said.

The CRC is in initial stages of establishment and planning to deliver value to its partners, government and regional communities.

Research planning is underway develop a research framework, identify capability, and refine research questions.

Consultation with CRC partners will start in late April 2020 to discuss the research framework and to identify and scope a range of short-term foundational projects that
can be commissioned early in FY20/21.

Visit the CRC website for more information and a full list of current CRC-TiME partners.

The historic Kapunda Copper Mine in the Barossa Valley, South Australia.

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