MinEx CRC, a AU$218 million research collaboration aimed at developing technologies to increase the discovery of new mineral deposits, was launched in Adelaide by the Hon Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP, Minister for Energy and Mining.
|MinEx CRC was launched in conjunction with the Australian Geoscience Council Convention and Geoscience Australia’s Earth Science Week 2018. Image source ©MinEx CRC|
The MinEx Cooperative Research Centre (MinEx CRC) has secured AYU$50 million in Federal Government CRC funding, as well as strong industry and research backing. Participants include 34 partners from the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector and major miners and research organisations, including BHP and CSIRO.
MinEx CRC Chairman Chris Pigram said the launch of the research organisation was driven by the declining discovery of new mineral deposits – a major threat to Australia’s economy.
“There are few, if any, major new mineral deposits that are exposed at the earth’s surface yet to be found in Australia, and as a result, mineral exploration is moving from Australia to less well explored countries,” Mr Pigram said.
Australia’s share of global mineral exploration has reduced from about 25 per cent in the 1990s to 12.5 per cent currently. The increased cost of drilling, which has led to less exploration over the last 20 years, is something the new CRC will be addressing.
MinEx CRC CEO Andrew Bailey said Australia has the chance to reverse this trend.
“We will develop new exploration tools and new ways to deploy them, that will recognise the fundamental importance of collecting data from the subsurface,” he said.
MinEx CRC is focusing on the development of technologies that:
1. Unlock the potential of mineral deposits that are located under deep rock cover.
2. Improve the productivity of drilling while at the same time collecting data. This will drive down the time and cost of deposit “drill‐outs” and bring forward production.
Additionally, MinEx CRC is implementing a National Drilling Initiative (NDI), a world‐first collaboration of Government Geological Surveys, researchers and industry that will undertake drilling in underexplored areas of potential mineral wealth.
The CRC is dual headquartered in Western Australia and South Australia.