Minerals for our future

ARC Centre of Excellence for Enabling Eco-Efficient Beneficiation of Minerals

An opportunity to make a difference

The green economy, digital revolution, improved health and living standards all depend on metals supplied at a minimal environmental cost. However, the declining grade of the more accessible minerals, increasing complexity of mineralogy, and the growing need to extract the minerals from deeper mines, have reached a tipping point, making current practices technologically, economically, and environmentally unsustainable.

The Centre will develop transformational technologies for enabling a competitive and environmentally sustainable future for Australia’s minerals industry through:

  • reduced environmental footprint
  • significant reductions in energy and water use
  • higher resources recovery
  • future leaders to support the sector

This Centre will transform the minerals industry, establishing a new generation of research leaders to support the innovation needed in creating a green economy for future generations.

Why transform the minerals industry?

Technology Metals

Our growing need for new technology imposes extraordinary demands for minerals extracted from the earth. Almost everything today is either made from minerals or reliant on mineral production: electric vehicles, whitegoods, laptops, healthcare and medicine.

More than 60 different metals are required to make a smartphone including gold, copper, aluminium, silver, zinc and lead. Rare earths provide smartphones with their functionality, to vibrate or even to generate the colour display. [1]

Metals are critical to providing essential medical technologies. Copper is found in MRI scanners and is vital in medical equipment due to its anti-microbial properties. Titanium is used for surgical equipment due to its bacterial resistance; and silver is present in some antibiotics for accelerating the healing process. [2]

Why transform the minerals industry?

Energy

Metals and Minerals are essential to low-carbon technologies.

  • The website, Mining Global, states that minerals such as Lithium ‘… is one of the most popular metals used in today’s modern life. In fact, with the rise in electric vehicle manufacture, the global consumption of lithium has more than doubled since 2012’. [3]
  • By 2023 Global wind power capacity is expected to grow by 60 percent. Wind Power is made up of metals such as iron ore and copper, and in some turbines rare metals such as neodymium and dysprosium. [4][5]
  • By 2023 renewable energy capacity will grow by 70%, led by solar photovoltaic, which uses metals such as copper, silver, tin and lead. [4][5]

Why transform the minerals industry?

World Bank Project

In February 2019, The World Bank outlined its initiative on Climate Smart Mining’, concerned with ensuring developing countries adopt mining practices that minimize carbon and material footprints’.

Read more on The World Bank’s Climate Smart Mining: Minerals for Climate Action’ initiative.

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Our Research

Our research aims to transform the industry through research programs centred around three key goals

Increase energy and water productivity

Improve mineral recovery

Train a new generation of research leaders

Our Team

Our team is led by Laureate Professor Kevin Galvin and the University of Newcastle and is a collaboration with researchers from seven Australian universities, CSIRO, industry partner organisations, as well as leading international researchers.

People Partners

Research Candidates

You can be a part of our team of research leaders who will support the innovation needed to create a green economy and enable a competitive and environmentally sustainable future for Australia’s minerals industry.

More information

Partner Organisations

Industry Partners