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MinRes and Curtin University join forces

Mineral Resources (MinRes) and Curtin University are joining forces to drive innovation in mining and prepare the next generation of talent for jobs of the future.

The new strategic partnership combines MinRes’ expertise across lithium, iron ore, energy and mining services with Curtin University’s excellence in research and learning.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by MinRes Managing Director Chris Ellison and Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne on Monday 19 June.

(From L to R) MinRes Managing Director, Chris Ellison and Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne

Mr Ellison and Professor Hayne said the partners shared a vision to keep Australia at the forefront of the critical minerals supply chain as global demand continues to grow.

MinRes, which operates two world-class lithium mines, has committed $2 million to a critical minerals research commercialisation hub being developed by Curtin University as part of the Trailblazer Universities Program.

A key focus is internship opportunities that provide Curtin University students with practical, hands-on mining industry experience and puts them on a path to excel in their careers. Interns also solve digital challenges for industry through Curtin’s groundbreaking program at Innovation Central Perth.

MinRes Managing Director Chris Ellison said he was proud to partner with one of the world’s best universities to help develop the next generation of talent for the jobs of the future.

“This partnership will also bring together the brightest minds at MinRes and Curtin University to find solutions to real-world challenges in the mining industry,” Mr Ellison said.

“Together, we will accelerate the cutting-edge innovation we’re both known for, which is a key ingredient of our shared successes.”

Curtin interns currently on placement at MinRes’ Osborne Park headquarters are already contributing to the development of world-first autonomous road trains.

As part of clinical placement program requirements, Curtin psychology students will work alongside Chris Harris, MinRes’ corporate psychologist and Head of Mental Health.

The formal partnership also strengthens existing areas of collaboration that date back almost a decade.

MinRes provides funding to the Moorditj Yorga Scholarship program, which supports mature-aged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women through their studies at Curtin University.

The company has also funded research that uses environmental DNA to survey plant-animal interactions. Known as eDNA, the tool is revolutionising environmental monitoring.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne said: “MinRes is a highly valued partner, most significantly in the Curtin-led Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer that will build sovereign capability through the critical minerals and hydrogen energy value chains.

“Working in partnership with MinRes will help us to deliver the skills and the future workforce we need to realise the potential benefits from these resources – all essential components of clean energy technologies.”