In one of his first actions in office, Western Australia’s new Mines and Petroleum Minister, David Michael, has launched a funding program to help mining equipment, technology and services (METS) companies to develop and commercialise new technologies for use in the WA mining sector.
Applications now open for up to A$250,000 ($169,838) in co-funded METS innovation and commercialisation of research outcomes, with the A$3 million program aimed at supporting industry-led METS research advancing low-emissions technologies, precision and low-impact mining, critical minerals, and the alternative use of tailings and waste
Michael was appointed Mines and Petroleum Minister earlier this month after Bill Johnston retired.
Led by the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA), the METS Innovation Program seeks to broaden support for METS companies servicing the local sector. The aim is to help METS companies replicate the success achieved by the recently named WA Innovator of the Year, Portable PPB.
Supported by MRIWA research funding, Portable PPB’s detectORE™ technology enables quick decision making in the field when exploring for gold. It is made up of a detectORE Widget, proprietary software and portable XRF, with the system involving the sample preparation, sample processing and use of a pXRF to obtain low level gold results in the field.
The new A$3 million funding program to support industry-led METS related research projects features a specific grant scheme with matched-funding of up to A$250,000 for eligible companies, as well as project facilitation assistance for collaborative projects.
David Michael (fourth from the left) said: “Western Australia’s mining sector is world-leading, and continued R&D is critical to ensuring the state is well positioned as global supply chains transition to cleaner and more innovative solutions. The METS sector plays an important part in the mining innovation lifecycle. These companies can translate new knowledge created through research into the required solutions which can be readily adopted by the mining industry.
“This innovation program is intended to assist METS companies to develop products and services to deliver efficiencies, increase productivity and increase the competitiveness of the WA mining sector, as well as open new international markets for their products.”