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Consultation: New CRC for the mining industry

Consideration of a new CRC for the mining industry

The METS, mining and research communities were invited to a consultation session for the consideration of a new CRC for the mining industry at IMARC on Wednesday, 1 November 20717.

A call for expressions of interest is being developed for interested parties to consider the formation of one or more Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) to work on themes of interest relating to the Australian minerals sector, with a focus on the mineral processing challenges of the future.

METS Ignited, an Industry Growth Centre focusing on the METS sector, and CRC ORE, a cooperative research centre working in the mineral sector, are jointly undertaking this process.


  • The mining sector in Australia produces $ 115 bn. of GVA annually (7% of Australia’s GDP) and directly employs 200,000 people.
  • The METS sector produces $86.2 of GVA annually and employs 500,000 people.
  • The METS sector has been identified as a priority growth area by the Commonwealth Government. It has formed an industry growth centre “METS Ignited” to stimulate sector growth.
  • Currently, CRC ORE is the only CRC focusing on the core mineral production processes, with a focus on looking at increasing the “system value” of optimising the integrated mining – mineral processing system. [1].
  • Deep Exploration Technologies CRC completes its terms in 2018 and has facilitated the submission of an exploration-focused bid proposal in the 19 th selection round “MINEX” (currently under consideration).
  • There are no other resources-focused CRC submissions in the 19 th CRC selection round.
  • At this stage there are no declared resources-focused bids under preparation for the 20 th CRC selection round in 2018.
  • There are many critical knowledge-building needs to support the Australian resources sector.
  • There is significant sector knowledge within research institutions, METS and mining companies but this is not currently well connected or focussed, so there are great benefits in fostering collaboration.

Knowledge-building priorities

Critical knowledge-building needed to support the Australian resources sector and the broader industry exists in mineral processing areas such as:

  • Value adding strategic and energy minerals.
  • Integration of minerals sector and advanced manufacturing.
  • Energy and water efficient mineral processing.
  • Mine-site rehabilitation and residual minerals recovery.
  • Use of big data and Instrumentation.
  • Robotics and Automation.

It is also possible that CRC ORE may be able to “seed” certain projects to a new CRC.


  • Engagement with sector participants and other constituents to identify knowledge-building priorities.
  • Identification of existing knowledge and capabilities within METS and research institutions.
  • Identification of potential scope of bid submission(s).
  • Identification of possible bid participants.
  • Identification of bid preparation and coordination parties.

What next?

The objective is to secure underwriting for one or more bids.

This first step is to initiate discussion with key industry players to test interest and to narrow in on the challenges to be addressed. Given the work involved and the timeline to the next submission deadline (mid 2018) this will need to be progressed quickly to gauge interest and viability.

The IMARC conference in Melbourne between Mon 31 Oct to Thurs 2 November at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre is a key mining conference and has been identified as a good venue for this initial consultation as it is well attended by senior industry and research constituents.

A lunchtime consultation session is planned between 11:30 – 12:30 pm on Thursday 2 November. The intended format is a short presentation on the fundamentals:

  • Why a CRC?
  • Addressing the National imperatives.
  • The bid process.

A panel interview style session is planned, with panellists answering questions around key mining challenges, some possible example challenges, experiences of running a CRC, experiences of putting a CRC together etc. The panellists are:

  • Jonathan Loraine, Chair, CRC ORE.
  • Ric Gros, CEO, METS Ignited.
  • Tony Peacock, CEO, CRC Association.

We invite senior representatives from Mining, METS and Research organisations to attend this session.

This preliminary consultation is being undertaken as a precursor to undertaking a more formal consultative process in early December with a view to formulate one or more CRC selection bids. At this stage, prospective participants would be sought to enter into bid submission declarations and to co-underwrite the preparation of bids.

For more information or expressions of interest: Please email or call Clytie Dangar +61 (0)407 139 207.

[1] The former CRC Mining is now constituted as an industry-funded research centre Mining3 and has combined with CSIRO’s Minerals Group.

[1] The former CRC Mining is now constituted as an industry-funded research centre Mining 3 and has combined with CSIRO’s Minerals Group.