The Cooperative Research Centre for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC TiME) has outlined its research priorities for the next three years, setting the building blocks for ground-breaking studies in mine closure and post-mining futures. The Research Prioritisation Plan details eight priorities, developed consultatively with CRC TiME partners, that are key to sustainably transforming regions post-mining.
CRC TiME CEO, Dr Guy Boggs commented, “Building from the work currently being undertaken in our 22 Foundational Projects, our research program will challenge the status quo, question how well current systems work, and force a re-examination of how mining systems, regional planning, regulatory regimes, social groups and professional teams work together and the power balances between them.”
Mine closure and relinquishment are an essential element of responsible resource development. With less than 5% of closed mines having successfully transitioned through to post-mining land use, there is enormous opportunity to create enduring value and benefit for all Australians in a post-mining landscape.
The importance of the CRC TiME’s research to the Australian economy and regional communities was highlighted by the Federal Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt:
“Mining will always be a major industry and employer in regional areas and I have had the opportunity to visit many of them over the past year to see first-hand the work being done to rehabilitate the land after a mine reaches the end of its life.”
“The Resources sector takes its responsibilities very seriously in this area and as a result we’re seeing former mines being used for agriculture and other productive purposes.”
Each of the eight research priorities has a problem statement, goals, objectives, and priority research questions that will underpin CRC TiME’s investment in research projects, utilising a system of regional hubs for place-based research and demonstration throughout Australia. Due to the longevity of mining projects, and the even longer post-mining periods that follow, the research agenda explicitly considers the dynamic nature of the earth and the global trends that are shaping it.
Crucially, a fundamental research principle for implementation of the plan is the inclusion of First Nations leadership in helping set strategic directions and implementing activity in the development and delivery of these research programs.
As CRC TiME represents the world’s largest investment partnership in research and development for mine closure and post-mine transitions, this Research Prioritisation Plan provides global leadership in framing a broader definition of ‘core business’ in the resources sector.
“How companies of the present embrace this challenge of integrating planning for a post-mining future will determine the industry’s future license to operate. It is incumbent upon all of us to work towards this broader and more integrated approach to the mining industry,” Dr Bruce Kelley, Chair, CRC TiME, said.
CRC TiME receives grant funding from the Australian Government through the Cooperative Research Centre Program.