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Mineral Resources (MinRes) and Curtin University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to drive mining innovation and to prepare the next generation of miners for future jobs.

The agreement will combine MinRes’ expertise across lithium, iron ore, energy, and mining services with Curtin University’s research and learning.

The mining company has committed $2 million to a critical minerals research commercialisation hub being developed by Curtin University as part of the Trailblazer Universities Program.

MinRes managing director Chris Ellison and Curtin University vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne said both share a vision to keep Australia at the forefront of the critical minerals supply chain as global demand continues to grow.

Ellison said he was proud to partner with Curtin University to develop the next generation of mining talent.

“This partnership will bring together the brightest minds at MinRes and Curtin University to find solutions to real-world challenges in the mining industry,” Ellison said.

“Together, we will accelerate the cutting-edge innovation we’re both known for, which is a key ingredient of our shared successes.”

Interns from Curtin University are currently on placement at MinRes’ Osborne Park headquarters where they are developing world-first autonomous road trains.

Hayne said that the mining company has been a respected partner of Curtin University for a long time.

“MinRes is a highly valued partner, most significantly in the Curtin-led Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer that will build sovereign capability through the critical minerals and hydrogen energy value chains,” Hayne said.

“Working in partnership with MinRes will help us to deliver the skills and the future workforce we need to realise the potential benefits from these resources – all essential components of clean energy technologies.”