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Mine reuse project

The NSW Government is investigating refuse produced as a by-product of mining to see if it contains deposits of valuable critical minerals.

Critical minerals are vital for current and future technologies like electric vehicles, solar technologies, defence and aerospace, wind turbines, electronics and medical applications.

The Mine Reuse Project aims to understand the potential for critical minerals in tailings, low grade stockpiles and other refuse produced by existing mines and determine whether reprocessing is commercially viable.

The project is being delivered by Geological Survey of NSW in partnership with Geoscience Australia through its Exploring for the Future Program and utilises expertise from the University of Queensland.

Samples will initially be collected from 10 sites, which include legacy mines, mines on care and maintenance and operating mines, across NSW and analysis will determine mineralisation types and whether further feasibility studies are warranted.

Sampling work has commenced with results expected to be available in 2023 on MinView.

The Mine Reuse Project is a key action in the NSW Government’s Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Strategy, which outlines the vision to position NSW as a major global supplier and processor of critical minerals and high-tech metals.

Read the Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Strategy