In situ greenstock trial for the threatened Ricinocarpos brevis set up in April 2015 on a waste rock dump at the Windarling iron ore mine (Cliffs Resources) near Southern Cross, Western Australia.View image slideshow

Project title: Industrial Transformation Training - Centre for Mine Site Restoration (CMSR)

Dates: 2015 - 2020

Funding: Australian Research Council

Location: Western Australia, Pilbara, Mid-West, Swan Coastal Plain, Goldfields

Research themes

  • ecological restoration
  • minesite restoration
  • restoration genetics
  • seed technology and enablement
  • restoration ecophysiology
  • rare and recalcitrant species management
  • mining industry policy extension

Project description

The ARC training centre for mine site restoration (CMSR) aims to deliver a suite of integrated and focused research projects underpinning successful mining restoration outcomes. A new model of workplace integrated researcher training is anticipated to deliver restoration-industry-ready professionals focused on the needs of the mining restoration industry, to enhance the capacity of the industry to deliver improved financial, social and environmental outcomes.

Mining accounts for 40% of Australia's wealth. Regulatory approval for mining is dependent on effective restoration. The lack of cost-effective solutions at scale is a major impediment for compliance with regulatory, business, environmental and social requirements. The ARC training centre for mining restoration aims to overcome this impediment by establishing >17 industry-integrated research-training positions (four post-doctoral fellowships and >13 PhD scholarships) that specifically address mining industry requirements for achieving restoration targets.

Restoration sits at the heart of Australia’s ability to sustainably and responsibly exploit its vast mineral wealth. However, the lack of cost-effective restoration solutions at the scale required is currently a major impediment for regulatory and social compliance.

The specific aims of the ARC CMSR are to:

  1. Foster opportunities for Higher Degree by Research candidates and Post-doctoral Fellows to pursue industrial training in mine-site restoration.
  2. Generate restoration-industry-ready professionals focused on the needs of the mining restoration industry.
  3. Enhance competitive research in collaboration between universities and organisations outside of the Australian higher education sector.
  4. Conduct innovative research focused on the immediate needs of the mining restoration industry.
  5. Deliver a raft of integrated research projects focused on the major streams of restoration genetics, seed enablement, ecophysiological assessment, and management of impacted threatened flora.
  6. Increase the capacity of the mining industry to deliver improved financial, social and environmental outcomes.

Key staff

Centre Director: Prof Kingsley Dixon (Curtin University); Prof Siegy Krauss (BGPA), Dr David Merritt (BGPA), Dr Jason Stevens (BGPA), Dr Shane Turner (UWA), Prof Erik Veneklaas (UWA), A/Prof Grant Wardell-Johnson (Curtin University). Four post-doctoral fellows have been appointed: Dr Adam Cross (Seed technology and enablement), Dr Paul Nevill (Restoration genetics), Dr Sean Tomlinson (Rare and recalcitrant species) and Dr John Yong (Restoration ecophysiology).

Collaborators

Dr Tein McDonald (SERA), Mr Stephen White (BHP), Mr Wayne Ennor (Sinosteel MidWest Corporation), Mr James Heresford (Mineral Resources), Dr Rob Howard (Cliffs Asia Pacific Iron Ore), Mr Vernon Newton (Rocla Pty Ltd), Mr Rhys Houlihan (Karara Mining Ltd).

Students

16 PhD student scholarships have commenced with further details available via the CMSR website.

In situ greenstock trial for the threatened Ricinocarpos brevis set up in April 2015 on a waste rock dump at the Windarling iron ore mine (Cliffs Resources) near Southern Cross, Western Australia. Restoration sits at the heart of Australia’s ability to sustainably and responsibly exploit its vast mineral wealth. Restoration sits at the heart of Australia’s ability to sustainably and responsibly exploit its vast mineral wealth. Restoration sits at the heart of Australia’s ability to sustainably and responsibly exploit its vast mineral wealth.

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