Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mining Innovation Hub

Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mining Innovation Hub

The Hub harnesses the development and deployment of new mining technology to unlock additional value.


The Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mining Innovation Hub – also known as The Kal Hub - harnesses the development and deployment of new mining technology to unlock additional value.

Initially part of CRC ORE, operating out of the Chamber of Mines and Energy (CME) office from 2018, in September 2020 it transitioned to be part of Curtin University’s Western Australian School of Mines (WASM).

The hub is focussed on collaboration between Researchers, METS and Miners to deliver value for Australian mining through technology development.

The Hub's purpose is to:

  • Promote collaboration between all industry groups (Research, METS, Miners, Community, Government) in the region, to solve common problems within the mining sector that ultimately improve the economic viability of the industry.
  • Demonstrate new technology and innovations in a non-commercial independent environment.
  • Provide customised professional development to all levels in industry.
  • Provide a pipeline of technologies and methodologies to deliver direct value to operations, suppliers and the community.
  • Facilitate other technology developments other than those initiated by CRC ORE.
  • Assist with promoting and streamlining access to alternative government funding sources (eg: MRIWA, METS Ignited, City of Kalgoorlie Boulder etc).

The Kal Hub focuses on nurturing innovations which will add significant value to our burgeoning minerals industry. The Hub is set to translate leading Australian mining research into real economic outcomes for the region and the country.


Why Kalgoorlie-Boulder

Kal Hub Roadsign to Kal BoulderThe Hub is housed at Curtin University’s Western Australian School of Mines (WASM) in the heart of Kalgoorlie.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder was carefully selected as the location for the Hub due to its proximity to several operating mine sites. The area is home to a range of geological and mineralisation styles. Access to this diversity is important for technology development and application tailored to Australian conditions.

The area has strong SME capability and a culture of regional innovation. The Western Australian School of Mines campus also maintains close industry links. Importantly, the Hub provides a vehicle to train professionals to further grow capability and capacity within Western Australia and Australia as a whole.

Driven by industry

Kal Hub Kal SuperpitDriven by the leaders in Australia’s minerals industry, the Kal Hub nurtures and progresses new mining technologies to revolutionise the way gold and other mineral deposits are exploited for maximum profitability and minimum environmental impact.

A strong group of partners helped shape the initial concept. This included Curtin University’s Western Australian School of Mines (WASM), the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA), METS Ignited, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy, the Central Regional TAFE and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Key objectives for initial consultation were that the Hub should:

  • Address industry need.
  • Be sustainable.
  • Not replicate the activities of METS companies or other groups.

Prior to it being taken over by Curtin University, an Advisory Council was set up with representatives from CRC ORE, regional Miners, METS, Researchers and other key stakeholder groups to ensure that the Hub was operating to serve the industry needs.

Strong support from the resource sector and Government illustrated the Hub’s importance for the future of the industry.


Pipeline of technology projects

Kal Hub In the WASM labThe Hub is an ideal place to progress a pipeline of technologies and methodologies to deliver real value to operations, suppliers and the community. Some of the technologies seeded into the Hub by CRC ORE included:

  • Integrated Grade Engineering screening and sorting studies.
  • Professional development training modules.
  • Applied research projects from PhD students:
    - Project 1: Grade Engineering and downstream processing impacts in a Lithium deposit.
    - Project 2: Grade Engineering strategic mine planning and optimization in underground operations.
    - Project 3: The development, adoption and sustainability of technology in the Goldfields region.
  • Mobile Grade Engineering test lab.


How it now operates

Kal Hub Cubicle Meeting at WASMSince September 2020, the Hub is now operational under the governance of Curtin University.



Benefits to industry


Faster product development


Quicker instigation of smaller scale site trials of new technologies with smaller mid-tier mine sites in the Kalgoorlie/Western Australia region:

  • Lower business interruption risk.
  • Faster approval processes.
  • Smaller scale infrastructure investment for trials.
  • Convenient location for Australian METS support providers and researchers.


  • Testing technology in a range of different operational situations, rather than a single set of conditions.
  • New technology and innovations demonstrated in a non-commercial independent environment.
  • Access to a wide range of existing world class resources via CRC ORE and other industry networks.

Testing on smaller mines before taking successful approach onto larger sites

  • Issues can be identified and overcome before larger scale trials and implementation are undertaken.
  • METS companies can “road test” in a smaller working mine before being commissioned for a larger scale implementation.
  • Opportunity for METS and Researchers to demonstrate value and develop case studies in smaller operations before approaching larger end-users.

Broadening ore-body knowledge and datasets

  • Increasing the data library of Grade Engineering response rankings for a broader range of deposits.
  • Expanding the library of deposit data sets and samples.
  • Increasing information on outcomes across a broad range of projects.

Workforce capability development

  • Providing customised professional development to all levels of industry.
  • Supporting development of an industry-ready talent pool with real on-site experience gained over the course of studies.
  • Opportunity for research staff to increase on site experience to develop a better understanding of operational challenges.
  • Opportunity for industry staff to undertake professional development in a regional education environment with ready access to a range of mining activities and geologies.

Robust funding model for research and technology development

  • Ideal platform to build a robust funding model for research and technology development. It is envisaged this will be a combination of ongoing industry funding and connecting projects with synergistic Government funding initiatives (eg, MRIWA, METS Ignited, State Development, AusIndustry).
  • The initiative will focus investment in high value projects for the industry:
    - Those that can deliver the highest impact.
    - Where Australia has a unique set of challenges and is well positioned to take an industry leading position.
    - Where benefits can be achieved as soon as possible.


  • Via hub networking and information sharing events and activities.

Intellectual property protection

  • Existing CRC ORE IP provisions will apply where Background IP (BIP) brought to a project remains the property of the party who contributes it. Any improvement to that BIP will vest in the owner of the BIP with a license to CRC ORE to be able to utilise it in any future research or utilisation activity.
  • Any CRC ORE Centre IP made available for use in relation to a Hub project remains in the ownership of CRC ORE. Any new IP developed as part of a Hub project funded by CRC ORE will be owned by CRC ORE.

Corporate social responsibility


The Hub will:

  • Support regional development, education and environmental impact.
  • Provide new networking, professional development and information sharing events and activities for the region.
  • Encourage greater openness to allow others to “touch and feel” how the technology is operating.
  • Grow professional capability and capacity within Western Australia and Australia as a whole.
  • Boost the industry and region’s economic prosperity, as well as its environmental sustainability.


Refining the value proposition

Kal Hub Jon Rutter looking at GE ViewThe initiative is particularly attractive for:

  • METS looking to scale up new technologies.
  • Mining companies looking for innovative solutions.
  • Researchers looking to partner for in-field testing and trialling.
  • Regional support businesses and community organisations.

All programs and activities will be supported by a strong business case, including a plan for how to progress the technology through the development pipeline. Projects will draw on capacity within the Hub to determine a robust approach for developing and delivering commercial outcomes for stakeholders.


The Hub supports the Australian Government’s national innovation and science agenda which encourages the best and brightest minds to work together to solve key challenges.

It also aligns with the Regional Development Plan developed by the City of Kalgoorlie Boulder.

Get involved

For further information on the Hub, please contact Dr Laurence Dyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.kalhub.com.


Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mining Innovation Hub early supporters include

Kal Hub Foundation Partners

The hub is a node of the Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE).
Early supporters include:-

Kal Hub Foundation Partners Square

For more information on
Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mining Innovation Hub

"The hub's approach supercharges the ability of individual organisations within the small to mid tier capital bands to finance, research, test and implement solutions that would otherwise be prohibitive."

Aus Gov CRC logo reverse 01


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