Scholarships valued at $330,000 were awarded last night to a new wave of academic talent enriching Western Australia's resources industry.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Sean L'Estrange presented eight postgraduate and PhD students with awards from the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA).
The MRIWA Scholarship Program supports graduate research training in disciplines underpinning the resources industry in the State. This enables university students of exceptional research ability to undertake higher degrees at participating universities in WA.
Since 2014, the MRIWA has committed $8.1 million to minerals research, mainly through funding research institutions in WA. MRIWA's portfolio includes 24 research projects and nine PhD scholarships valued at $20.2 million, including joint funding with other parties.
Mr L'Estrange said the MRIWA's work was becoming increasingly important to the resources sector, as exploration targets were being found further underground and were increasingly difficult to identify and test.
"The Liberal National Government is investing in emerging scientists and researchers through a post-graduate scholarship program because we know investment generates significant returns for the State," he said.
The Minister said the $6 million in extra funding to MRIWA announced in the 2016-17 State Budget was fostering WA's next generation of engineers, geologists and other scientists.
In the past two years, MRIWA has engaged in research initiatives such as the AMIRA Uncover Roadmap and the In-Situ Recovery Roadmap being prepared by CSIRO and Curtin and Murdoch universities
MRIWA is a founding member of the Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction, an organisation founded in 2010 to find solutions to the challenges of sustaining mining beyond periods of high commodity prices
List of scholarship winners is below
Minister's office - 6552 6900
Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia - Scholarship Winners
- Best thesis from the 2015 Odwyn Jones program: Christopher Gilbertson (Murdoch University) for his thesis on the dissolution characteristics of chloritic-copper ore in cyanide and sulphuric acid.
- 2016 Directors PhD award: Ahmad Saleem for his project 'Quantifying the role of exploration upside in mineral project evaluations: the missing link in project value determination?'
- Second PhD award: Eun Joo Choi for her project 'Alkaline magmatism as a probe into the architecture of the Archean lithospheric mantle, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia'.
- Third PhD award: Rashid Vaneghi for his project 'Progressive damage mechanisms of rocks subjected to cyclic loading'.
- Fourth PhD award: Harry Watts for his project 'Developing a more benign way to extract rare earths from monazite ore using a sequence of weak organic acids at a moderate pH and room temperature and ore recirculation'.
- Odwyn Jones Awards:
- Wei Han from Curtin University, supervised by Professor Carla Boehl. His project is 'Haulage simulation for autonomous haulage trucks'.
- Kaarina Recklies from Murdoch University, supervised by Professor
- Aleks Nikoloski. Her project is 'The effects of clays, dispersants and collectors on the flotation of Au-Cu ores'.
- Thomas Pilote from UWA, supervised by ARC Future Fellow, Dr Anthony Kemp. His project is 'Geochemical and petrological controls on rare earth element mineralisation, and phase mobility in the Mukinbudin granitic pegmatites and their associated regolith profiles'.