New funding to extract mine waste opportunities

In the days leading up to World Earth Day (22 April 2024), the Queensland government has announced a $5 million funding program to help companies extract critical minerals and reprocessing opportunities in mine waste. 

The state government’s new Collaborative Development Program — part of Queensland’s Critical Minerals Strategy — provides companies with funding that are seeking to assess and find ways to extract value from residual materials left behind after primary phases of mining and mineral processing. 

Finding critical minerals within mine waste is considered a crucial step towards securing the building blocks of a renewable energy future, ensuring sustainable resource efficiency, as well as advancing the transition to cleaner energy technologies. 

The program will run as a single round and remains open until the end of June 2027, or until funds are exhausted. 

Queensland’s Critical Minerals Strategy is a $245 million investment to transform the state, national, and global economy through the responsible use of our critical minerals. 

Resource and Critical Minerals Minister Scott Stewart says Queensland has “significant” mine waste which can potentially hold substantial mineral resources.

“Our first step is assessing what’s out there and this funding allows businesses to explore areas that were once known for their mineral production to uncover potential critical minerals,” Stewart says. 

“We see opportunities for the waste of our mines to become the key ingredients in future renewable energy technologies. 

As industries pivot towards a more sustainable future, the recovery of critical minerals from mine waste presents a dual opportunity — to reduce our carbon footprint while nurturing a circular economy model. 

This initiative encourages greater resource efficiency by facilitating the recycling of tailings and mine waste, ensuring the valuable minerals already extracted are not overlooked.”

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Images: Queensland Government
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.