The ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Mine Site Restoration aims to deliver a suite of integrated and focused research projects underpinning successful mining restoration outcomes. A new model of workplace integrated researcher training is anticipated to deliver restoration-industry-ready professionals focused on the needs of the mine site restoration industry, to enhance the capacity of the industry to deliver improved financial, social and environmental outcomes. Restoration sits at the heart of Australia’s ability to sustainably and responsibly exploit its vast mineral wealth. However, the lack of cost-effective restoration solutions at the scale required is currently a major impediment for regulatory and social compliance. The project is based in Western Australia.
Scale and context are key drivers of research priorities for restoration. Thus there is a clear need to develop proven, cost-effective, and scalable restoration solutions. Industries involved in restoration, particularly the mining sector, strive to create restoration approaches that deliver the compliant level of plant species return in one pass, that produce the same outcome at any scale (local to landscape), and that deliver a predictable and replicable outcome. There is also a clear need for efficient and effective approaches to achieving pre-mining biodiversity context. Effective pre-mining survey enables restoration components to be integrated within an operational framework and provides invaluable data for all components of the restoration program. These restoration needs form the foundation of the Centre for Mine Site Restoration (CMSR). The CMSR is structured as five thematic research areas to create a multi-disciplinary, integrated training centre that complements the proponents’ substantial existing capacity in restoration research. The CMSR will develop the technology and training capacity for current and future restoration requirements under these guiding principles. Across these integrated themes we have identified training opportunities for 4 Post-Doctoral Fellowships (PDF) and 13 PhD (HDR) researchers that together form a cohesive training hub to address the overarching goal of improved restoration outcomes at very large spatial scales. Here we outline the proposed objectives, outcomes and specific research projects associated with each theme.