Perth to host Australia’s Future Mines Centre

A Shorten Labor Government will make Perth the home base for the Australian Future Mines centre, establishing WA as the centre of kick-starting the discovery of new mines across the country.

Future mining opportunities will generate new jobs and provide a much needed economic boost – and Labor’s announcement will mean WA is perfectly positioned to take advantage.

Western Australia employs four out of every 10 mining workers, contributes around half of our total mining exports and is an innovation powerhouse when it comes to exploration and discovery.

The Australian Future Mines centre will build on this strong foundation by leading the scientific research, development and co-ordinating necessary to discover the two-thirds of mineral deposits that remain unexplored.

This will be a cutting edge collaboration amongst universities, along with industry, the CSIRO and the Australian Academy of Sciences 

The Centre will be funded through a $46 million Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative – with a Shorten Labor government providing $23 million and the balance to come from state governments, universities and private sector partners.

Labor will also provide 50 mining engineering scholarships for Australian students attending WA universities, each worth $20,000 with half of them for women.

Because two thirds of potential deposits reside under deep cover, we need to pair technology like machine learning and big-data analytics with new scientific approaches to discovering these deposits which reside deep below the surface.

These deposits are the mines of the future – and we need to do more to find the critical commodities that will power our future mining exports, like rare earth elements, copper, gold and lithium.

We know the time between discovery and export potential can span decades, which is why we need to act now to build the workforce to discover the mines needed for our future exports.

The Centre will also deliver on the need for an industry data strategy and explore options for innovation collaboration across the sector – key recommendations of the Resources 2030 Task Force Report, which also builds on the Uncover Australia roadmap.

Labor’s plan builds on our previous announcements to support battery manufacturing and hydrogen – to make sure we can develop the industries of the future here in Australia.

A Shorten Government will work with the McGowan Government to deliver more jobs and a stronger economy for Western Australia.