Larry signs off with speech to mining sector about net zero

James Riley

CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall has used a speech to a global mining conference to argue both the value of the agency’s commercial work with the resources sector, as well as its critical role in helping Australia meet its international net zero commitments.

Speaking at the World Mining Congress in Brisbane on Tuesday, Dr Marshall said the CSIRO had worked with the mining industry for more than 100 years and had one of the strongest minerals R&D groups in the world.

During that period, CSIRO had delivered new technologies and innovative solutions across the mining industry supply chain.

And now Dr Marshall said CSIRO was turning its attention to helping Australia’s hardest to abate sectors to transition toward net zero and to take advantage of opportunities in the low-emissions economy.

Image: Australian Vanadium

This is the kind of messaging that drives Larry Marshall’s critics a little crazy. Not only will the mining sector accelerate global decarbonisation, he says, but it is the industry that will enable the world to reach net zero.

But only if the sector gets on board.

The World Mining Congress is being held in Australia for the first time. For 60 years it has been one of the resources sector’s most important global gatherings.

The CSIRO is one of the hosts of the WMC in Brisbane, giving Dr Marshall – in one of his last speeches as CSIRO chief executive – a platform from which to enlist the resources sector’s innovation talent in a drive to reduce emissions.

“It’s mining that accelerates global decarbonisation by unlocking the critical energy minerals the world desperately needs for solar panels, electric vehicles, and batteries,” he said. “An industry that will enable the world reach net zero.”

“That is why CSIRO is proudly hosting this conference. We’ve been solving the greatest challenges for over 100 years, which makes us uniquely positioned to bring you all together to get on the same page and plan a sustainable future for this industry, which we are all so invested in.”

The CSIRO is selling its missions into the resources sector. It’s Toward Net Zero mission targets the hardest to abate industries – from mining and resources to aircraft fuel to agriculture.

“Our missions program assembles broad coalitions of partners to solve complex scientific challenges. Our Towards New Zero mission is building Australia’s national capability to transform our hardest-to-abate industries, like the resources sector, in the transition to net zero,” Dr Marshall said.

“We’re helping iron ore producers and steelmakers to get the coal out of steel production, so that steel can head towards net zero.”

The CSIRO Hydrogen Industry mission supports global decarbonisation through an alternative to gas and coal exports, and growing a new source of transport fuel for heavy industry, especially for mining.

Its Renewable Energy Powerhouse mission seeks to deliver renewable energy from Australia’s critical minerals – using the renewable energy value chain to support affordable energy storage solutions, including batteries.

Larry Marshall will finish his contract as chief executive of CSIRO in two days. The message has stayed the same through-out his eight and a half years.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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