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MinRes exec hailed for mine closure initiative, Indigenous engagement

David Prestipino -

The efforts of Mineral Resources to reshape the future of mine closure and rehabilitation has been recognised by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy, as a new CSIRO report said Australia had a billion-dollar opportunity to become a leader in the emerging industry.

MinRes mine closure, rehabilitation and contaminated sites manager Celine Mangan was named one of three finalists in CME WA's 2024 Women in Resources Awards, just days after the CSIRO report said a new industry to support mine closures and transitions could generate economic opportunities for Indigenous communities.

Ms Mangan, who has worked in technical and managerial roles for the past 15 years, led the MinRes team that optimised mine closures, while also mentoring the next generation of female scientists and engineers within the company.

The CME praised Ms Mangan's team for establishing MinRes' first executive closure steering committee, a closure framework for its mines, and collaboration with First Nations stakeholders to launch a seed collection training program.

In October Ms Mangan's team awarded a $24 million contract to Djeleanna for exploration earthworks at its Onslow Iron project, the biggest contract MinRes has ever given an Indigenous business.

"Our team contributes significantly to reshaping the future of mine closure and rehabilitation," Ms Mangan said.

"We can't fix everything today, but developing steppingstones to create a more inclusive and sustainable future within mining is the key to our long-term success."

WIRA aims to enhance the recognition and participation of women in the resources sector, with Ms Mangan one of three finalists for the technological innovation award for her work in the emerging mine closure industry.

CSIRO's recent report projected annual expenditure on mine closure and rehabilitation to exceed $4 billion, with 240 Australian mines tipped to close by 2040.

The national science agency said Australia could become industry leaders in mine closure solutions, which would also present significant economic opportunities for Indigenous and regional communities.

The report, by the Cooperative Research Centre for Transformations in Mining Economies, said Australian businesses had to address myriad challenges mine closures presented, including equipment, technology, and services.

Chief executive Guy Boggs said further co-operation and targeted action was needed but insisted engaging First Nations people was fundamental to a successful mine transition.

"We also see partnering on targeted studies of opportunities for Indigenous, regional and export-focused businesses as a priority," he said.

"As stewards of country, that is just so important.

"As is recognising and providing opportunities for traditional owners to actually be part of the healing process or the repurposing process, and in roles that enable them to be really proactive in helping set the future."

The report found there were tens of thousands of inactive and non rehabilitated mine sites across Australia but only 15 examples of repurposed mined land.

"In the Pilbara, the (WA) state government put $5 million into the development of the northern native seed industry working with Indigenous groups from across from the Kimberley, Pilbara, Goldfields and Esperance area - that's a really valuable investment and it'd be great if there was more like it," Dr Boggs said.

Ms Mangan, who originally hails from Ireland, hoped technological innovations in mining could lead to more sustainable closures of mines.

"It's important to leave a legacy that can drive real change," she said.

"Everything I do is to foster a sustainable future for the mining industry."

The 2024 WIRA dinner will be at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on March 22.

2024 WIRA finalists:

Outstanding Young Woman in Resources Award

Eliza Dennis, Shell

Jemma Ehsman, Rio Tinto

Danielle White, BHP

Outstanding Operator/Technician/Trade Award

Clarisse Orchard, Callidus Welding Solutions

Tahnee Brosnan, Woodside Energy

Dianne Deegan, INPEX

Outstanding Woman in Resources Award

Lisa Robson, Shell

Josie Fourie, Woodside Energy

Lily Meneghel, Roy Hill

Technological Innovation Award

Suzy Urbaniak, CoRE Learning Foundation

Celine Mangan, Mineral Resources

Evelyn Ng, Callidus Group

Champion of Women in Resources Award

Vivienne Chan, Chevron

Candis Rhodes, Rio Tinto

Warren Shirley, Shell

Outstanding Company Initiative Award

"Bamboo" Flexible Work Program, BHP

Crane Operations Pathway Traineeship Program,Monadelphous

Transferrable Pathways, Rio Tinto

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