The Australian Research Council (ARC) has provided $83 million in funding for early career projects in areas including mining equipment, critical minerals processing, and resource technology and services.
A total of 196 research projects from around Australia will receive a share in the funding through the ARC’s Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme, as approved by Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge.
ARC chief executive officer Sue Thomas said the funding was a boost to individuals and industries.
“The DECRA scheme provides our promising early career researchers the opportunities and resources to advance their research and build diverse career pathways,” Thomas said.
One example where the funding will benefit the mining industry was the research of Timothy Werner from the University of Melbourne.
Werner’s three-year project received $420,000 to assess the resources of five metals needed in the clean energy transition.
A description of the project identified how and why Werner’s project was critical to the transition.
“Expected outcomes include in-depth knowledge of geological endowments and global-scale patterns of mining emerging to meet changing metal demands, plus the discovery of geological and socio-environmental constraints to future supplies,” the DECRA website stated.
“This will enhance government and industry capacities for de-risking metal supply chains and facilitate more sophisticated land use planning of mining regions.”
Further mining-related projects funded by the ARC scheme analysed the impacts of metals supply chains, while another will investigate how young people can develop critical solutions to sustainability, technology, and social equity in mining and metropolitan communities.
Of the $87 million in funding requested by applicants, 94.6 per cent was approved.