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The Australian Government has announced it will invest $4.35 million to reduce methane emissions in the mining sector.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King announced two research grants, to the CSIRO and to the University of Newcastle, for the development of methane-reducing technologies.

Targeted primarily at coal mines, the investment is aimed at bringing Australia closer to net-zero by 2050.

With $2.05 million to go to the CSIRO and $2.3 million to go to the University of Newcastle, the grants are from the methane abatement fund and will be for projects specifically tackling ventilation air methane.

“Reducing methane emissions from the resources sector will be an important part of the global transition to net zero, as well as Australia’s transition,” King said.

“When commercially viable, these two projects will not only help to lower methane emissions from coal projects, but also make mining safer for those who work underground.

“The new grants also support Australia’s commitments to the global methane pledge, and the government’s safeguard mechanism.”

CSIRO will use the funding to conduct optimisation and site trials of its catalytic ventilation air methane mitigator (VAMMIT).

The University of Newcastle is set to conduct research and design towards the scale up of a catalytic methane mitigation unit.

King said the methane abatement fund supports research organisations to undertake development, prototype verification and validation, and demonstration level projects.