The CSIRO Organic Geochemistry of Mineral Systems Cluster was officially launched this week at Curtin University’s Resources and Chemistry Precinct.
Led by Director of WA-Organic and Isotope Geochemistry at Curtin, Professor Kliti Grice, the Cluster team will combine local mineral system knowledge with internationally recognised skills in organic geochemistry to provide the latest tools and technologies to assist Australia’s mineral explorers.
Professor Grice said the combination of expertise would build a unique base in Australia that would work to understand the crucial role played by organic compounds and processes in the formation of Australia’s major metal deposits.
“The combination of skills required to develop this research is now available for the first time within Australia. Therefore, the Cluster will seek to bring together local mineral system knowledge, with international skills in organic and stable isotope geochemistry,” Professor Grice said.
“The Cluster will deliver outputs that are essential to the integration of organic geochemistry and inorganic chemical systems in ore deposits.
“By working closely with CSIRO’s Minerals Down Under National Research Flagship and harnessing the multidisciplinary expertise of a large global network of leading geochemists, researchers in the Cluster will carry out fundamental research in the organic geochemistry of mineral systems, a very exciting and new scientific sub-discipline, internationally.
“What this new understanding will bring us is an improvement in minerals exploration success so Australia can continue to meet expected strong future global demand for our metals.”
In her opening address, Curtin Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jeanette Hacket, acknowledged the significant emphasis and importance the University, as a lead partner in the research cluster, places on partnerships.
“Curtin University has a long history of successful partnerships with industry and government and it is through these collaborations that the University builds upon its research strengths,” Professor Hacket said.
“Using the increased network capability brought by the partners in the CSIRO Organic Geochemistry of Mineral Systems Cluster, findings will be disseminated more widely and are therefore likely to have greater impact – which is essential for the breadth and scope of this project.”
The CSIRO Mineral Systems Cluster combines $3 million funding from the CSIRO National Research Flagships Collaboration Fund with a matching in-kind contribution from Curtin University, The University of Western Australia, The University of Melbourne and The Australian National University.
Andrea Barnard, Public Relations Consultant
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