Australia-India partnership launches hub for sustainable mineral dev’t

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A joint initiative between Monash University and IIT Hyderabad is set to revolutionize the global supply chain of critical minerals through cutting-edge research and sustainable practices.

The newly established Australia-India Critical Minerals Research Hub (AICMRH) will bring together leading researchers to develop a sustainable approach to critical minerals extraction and processing, the university said in a news release.

Approved by India’s Ministry of Education (MoE), the AICMRH will offer expertise in critical minerals extraction, economic geology, sustainable mining practices, and supply chain analysis.

The initiative is part of the MoE and Government of India’s broader efforts, guided by the Empowered Committee for Industry and International Collaborations (ECIIC), to focus on critical minerals as one of its 12 strategic themes.

A Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centers (SPARC) proposal, spearheaded by IIT Hyderabad and Monash University, has united various Indian and Australian universities, R&D labs, and industries in the critical minerals sector.

Recently sanctioned by the MoE with $1.15 million in funding, this collaboration is poised to strengthen India-Australia partnerships in this crucial field.

“This is a fantastic achievement that will greatly enhance collaborative research across India and Australia in a number of critically important areas,” said Professor Craig Jeffrey, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) and Senior Vice-President at Monash University.

“The AICMRH will serve as a pivotal platform for advancing collaborative research activities,” he added.

The collaboration seeks to build skills and talent to drive sustainable resource management, aligning with the G20’s commitment to diversifying supply chains for energy transitions.

Areas of focus include carbon capture storage and utilization, coal preparation upgrading, and reducing fugitive emissions from coal mining.

Professor BS Murty from IIT Hyderabad underscored the strategic significance of the partnership saying, “The AICMRH provides an exciting opportunity for India and Australia to work together to expand its increasingly important mineral resources partnership.”

He continued, “This strategic partnership embodies a concerted effort to drive impactful advancements in the critical minerals’ domain, fostering innovation and knowledge exchange on an international scale.”

The AICMRH aligns with India’s National Education Policy and the Australian Researcher Cooperation Hub (ARCH-India) of the Australian Government Department of Education.

It also supports the goals outlined in the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, aiming to develop pioneering technologies for a competitive and environmentally sustainable future.

Future plans include expanding the hub’s reach into the Indo-Pacific region by involving researchers from other countries.

To learn more about the AICMRH, please visit: AICMRH Information.