A number of mining companies are working with Western Australia’s Curtin University at the new $6.7 million Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre for Mine Site Restoration (CMSR) to apply world-class science to the rehabilitation of retired mine sites.
The center is based at Curtin University with satellite activities at UWA, Perth’s Kings Park and several mine sites, will focus on six key research areas: restoration genetics, seed technology and enablement, rare species management, restoration ecophysiology, restoration trajectory, and mining industry policy extension. It is directed by directed by botanist Professor Kingsley Dixon of Curtin’s department of environment and agriculture. Australian Mining reported that he is coordinating research between the university, Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority and The University of Western Australia (UWA).
The center, based at Curtin and with satellite activities at UWA, Perth’s Kings Park and several mine sites, will focus on six key research areas: restoration genetics, seed technology and enablement, rare species management, restoration ecophysiology, restoration trajectory and mining industry policy extension.
According to Curtin, the center’s multi-disciplinary staff will deliver a suite of integrated and focused research projects that underpin successful mine site restoration outcomes.
The CMSR is being supported by several industry partners, including Sinosteel Midwest, BHP Billiton, Hanson Construction Materials, Karara Mining, Cliffs Natural Resources, Mineral Resources, and the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia.
Dixon, who was named WA Scientist of the Year last August, said it was vital that the mining industry was supported in applying high-quality science in its efforts to restore the integrity of mine sites.
“Restoration sits at the heart of Australia’s ability to sustainably and responsibly exploit its mineral wealth,” Dixon said. “The CMSR aims to connect high-end science with on-ground practice in mining restoration, and to train the next generation of high level researchers to be industry-ready.
“Researchers both at the post-graduate and doctoral level will work within industry, so industry will get to see them and understand the value of science, and the scientists will see how their research is valued and applied in the industry setting.
“They’ll be able to understand the needs of the mining sector and enhance the sector’s capacity to deliver improved financial, social and environmental outcomes.”
The CMSR is funded by the ARC ($4.9 million), with primary support from Curtin ($961,000). It adds to the university’s already strong commitment to the Australian and international mining industry.
Curtin was last month ranked second in the world for its mineral and mining engineering program in a global survey that analyzed popular subject areas by The QS World University Rankings.
The university hosts the WA School of Mines, which is based at both its Bentley campus in Perth and at Kalgoorlie-Boulder in the state’s Goldfields region.