Mining3 FAQ’s

How did Mining3 evolve?

Over the last 18 months, discussions have taken place between CRCMining and CSIRO Mineral Resources Business Unit, to combine mining research capabilities and create the world’s leading mining research organisation. The new entity would enable both organisations to significantly grow their capacity to deliver research and innovative technologies to our members and the global mining industry.

Extensive, positive engagement took place between the two organisations to jointly agree on our strategic direction which is:

To be the global leader in mining research and innovation, driven by industry to transform productivity, sustainability and safety with breakthrough technology and equipment.

After extensive workshops comprising of management and researchers from both organisations, a new trading name, Mining3, was approved by the CRCMining Board and CSIRO.

The inclusion of the number ‘three’ references the interconnectedness of Mining3’s researchers, industry and equipment manufacturers.

What happens to the CRCMining name?

The trading name, CRCMining, will over time fall away, and be replaced by Mining3.

Who owns the trading name Mining3?

The Mining3 trading name is owned by CMTE Development Limited (Centre for Mining Technology and Equipment).

Why the need to restructure?

When Commonwealth funding of CRCMining ceased in mid-2014, it became a purely industry-funded venture. CSIRO’s participation with CMTE will strengthen the organisation’s financial performance, providing benefits for all of our members.

Merging two of the strongest mining research organisations, including the recent incorporation of QUT’s automation expertise and Data61, provides our members with a greater pool of expertise which would previously have been fragmented. The consolidated groups have enhanced capability to solve problems together rather than operating in independent silos.

How does CSIRO’s relationship with Mining3 differ from the standard member relationship?

CSIRO will join Mining3 as a Research Member and has agreed to be bound by the terms of the Member Agreement. CSIRO will, however, contribute substantial additional funding to Mining3 in people and operating expenses, in return for certain rights. These rights include a seat on the Board and a 50% share in future commercial returns arising from Mining3’s research and commercialisation activities.

Will the Board, Management Team, Technical and Research Committees change?

There will be one new seat on the Board to accommodate CSIRO, with no changes to the Technical and Research Committees other than the participation of CSIRO representatives.

Management of Mining3 is similar in structure to CRCMining, including some changes to support the larger organisation. Personnel from CSIRO have been encouraged to apply for new roles.

What are the benefits to members of Mining3?

Mining3 will have significantly increased capacity to deliver research and innovative technologies focussed on maximising productivity, improving safety, and ensuring sustainability for the global mining industry. It will:

  • Consolidate similar research programs with CSIRO to achieve synergies and accelerate commercial delivery.
  • Provide increased access to a broader scope of research including:
  • Sensing technologies, rock fragmentation and electronics capability
  • Data61 including UAV technology and data processing
  • Access to additional experts and experience
  • Provide a larger global footprint, including CSIRO’s Chile centre

Will members have access to any past or current projects CSIRO has/are working on?

Yes. Within confidentiality constraints members will have access to, and even the opportunity to participate in some current CSIRO projects. Note that past CSIRO Intellectual Property (IP) will require separate agreements to access that background IP for commercial applications.

What is the Mining3’s funding strategy?

Mining3 is funded in a number of ways. The cash funding comes from:

  • Member fees – Annual amount depends on number of members
  • Direct project funding – Industry members, grants (from government and other groups), non-member industry partners, etc.
  • Mining3 commercial activities – Royalty payments, license fees, and revenue from Mining3 owned spin-off companies.

Additional funding and personnel are provided by CSIRO to Mining3.

What is Mining3’s governance/business model?

As for CRCMining, Mining3 is the trading name for CMTE Development Ltd, an incorporated joint venture between industry and research partners.

CMTE is a tax exempt company limited by guarantee, and all participants in Mining3 are members of the company.

CMTE owns the intellectual property created in the course of Mining3 research activities, and may enter into research and commercial agreements with members or third parties to further develop and commercialise the outputs of the research.

Mining3 is governed by a Board of Directors with three sub committees, the Research Committee, the Audit Committee and the Appointments and Remuneration Committee.

How will intellectual property be dealt with?

IP ownership with CSIRO is handled in the same manner as with other CMTE members, and is governed under the members’ agreement:

  • Background IP that a Member voluntarily makes available to Mining3 is licensed to CMTE for the purposes of the activities of the centre other than utilisation (when a further agreement must be entered into with the Member);
  • All IP created in the course of Centre Activities (Centre IP) is owned by CMTE on creation, unless otherwise agreed.

Will the current roadmap change?

The CRCMining roadmap is regularly reviewed as new industry challenges and opportunities emerge. This will continue with Mining3, and CSIRO will have the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing development of the roadmap in the same way as other members.

How will decisions be made regarding ongoing research in Mining3?

The Research Committee will continue to plan and propose the annual research program, for consideration and approval by the CMTE Board.

Regarding the 2016/17 research program, the approved CSIRO activities will be added to the existing budget.

Will the number of technical committees change from the current 4?

There are no plans to increase the number of technical committees at this stage.  However, as Mining3 grows/expands in the future, along with other industry developments, the need to review the committee arrangements may be warranted.

What new capabilities will Mining3 bring to the industry?

We are still working through with CSIRO the researchers that will immediately form part of Mining3, but in general we expect to have significantly increased capability in sensing (of the rock mass), mechanical fragmentation, and of course automation and ICT capabilities via Data61.

Will the current project development, management and reporting process change?

The process in the way we develop, manage and report on projects will not change at this stage, however in conjunction with the members we will continue to review and monitor the effectiveness of our activities.

How will resources be allocated to current and future projects?

Mining3 Program Leaders will have access to an increased resource pool, and will use existing resource allocation methods to select the right personnel for different projects.  The resource pool will be shared across all current and future projects.

How will the two sites operate?

Business will be carried on across CMTE’s Pinjarra Hill’s facility and our research member premises. As well as CSIRO’s current Pullenvale premises and other facilities around Australia, and in Chile.

What happens if CSIRO changes direction in the future?

While we don’t expect this to happen, the legal arrangements have been structured so that it will be practical for CSIRO to exit Mining3 relatively painlessly, should that situation ever eventuate.

For further information on Mining3 please contact:

Kevin Greenwood, COO
Phone:   +61 7 336 55633