The Liberal National Government has committed $6 million to continue the work of the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA) over the next three years.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Sean L'Estrange said the funding, announced in the 2016-17 Budget, recognised the great contribution the institute made to the State's resources sector.
"Exploration targets are now deeper and harder to identify and test, and the associated data processing is becoming more complex, so the fostering of research, technological innovation and new talent through the MRIWA is important to the resources sector," he said.
Mr L'Estrange said since the institute was established by the State Government in February 2014, it had committed $7.1 million to minerals research, mainly through funding research institutions in WA.
"MRIWA's portfolio includes 21 approved research projects and nine PhD scholarships, valued at $18.1 million, including joint funding with other parties," he said.
"However, we're not just talking about projects. Through its education program, the institute is investing in the future of WA by fostering the new engineers, geologists and other scientific professionals we need to remain one of the world's top mining jurisdictions.
"The institute is contributing to a more active relationship between industry companies and the research community."
The success of the program was recently confirmed through an independent review, with the aggregated benefit estimated at $90.4 million. This represents a significant return to the Government, outweighing the entire funding cost of the program since 1990.
Treasurer Mike Nahan said by promoting innovation, education and capacity development, MRIWA was helping to ensure the State's minerals industry remained an engine of economic growth.
"MRIWA invests funds in research projects which seek to advance the State's minerals industry, contribute to future innovation and promote projects which will help stimulate a globally competitive minerals industry in WA," Dr Nahan said.
The MRIWA funding comprises $3m in 2016-17, $2m in 2017-18 and $1m in 2018-19
The MRIWA ensures WA remains at the forefront of technological innovation in mining and processing
Mines and Petroleum Minister's office - 6552 6900
Treasurer's office - 6552 5700