New Geoscience institute for carbon and minerals research

The NSW Government, in conjunction with the University of Newcastle, will establish a NSW Institute for Frontier Geoscience at the university, Minister for Mineral Resources Ian Macdonald announced today.

The institute will enhance research and teaching in Earth Sciences at the university and prepare graduates for jobs in the NSW minerals industry, especially in the emerging carbon sequestration industry and exploration.

“This is great news for the minerals industry and the university – it’s a win-win situation,” Mr Macdonald said.

“This institute will address the critical skills shortages, by providing highly trained graduates for the minerals and energy industries.

“Further research into clean coal technology is also an important investment in the future.

“Clean coal technology is about taking action where we can to reduce our carbon footprint, it’s a necessary strategy to maintaining strong and sustainable mining and energy sectors.

“The University is ideally located close to the major suppliers of coal, the large coal-fired power stations, as well as the NSW Department of Primary Industries Coal and Petroleum Development group and the Geological Survey at Maitland.

“Skills gained at the University’s institute will go a long way towards providing staff in the resources area, such as ore deposit geology, minerals exploration, geophysics and geochemistry.”

Funding for the Institute will be shared between the NSW Department of Primary Industries, the Doyle’s Creek Training mine and the University.

“The NSW DPI in Maitland has a highly skilled group of professional geoscientists specialising in the minerals, coal and petroleum areas,” Mr Macdonald said.

“The Department, which holds all the State geoscience data, such as high resolution maps, will work together with the university on projects such as mapping, research, promotion of exploration in NSW.

“A key focus of this year’s Mineral Resources Budget announced earlier this week is a $16.5 million investment in clean coal technology, which will help accelerate the work which we are already doing in NSW.

“The mining industry is the largest commodity export industry in NSW, the value of mineral production is over $13 billion.”