The Cooperative Research Centre for Landscape Environments and
Mineral Exploration (CRC LEME) was established and supported under
the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre Program. LEME
is now closed after a seven-year renewal in 2002, being the successor
of the highly acclaimed CRC for Landscape Evolution and Mineral
Exploration, which formally finished in June 2001.
LEME's role was to apply regolith science to the challenges facing
Australia in natural resource management and mineral exploration.
Regolith is the surficial mantle of weathered rock, sediments, soils, biotic complexes and water that are formed by the natural processes of
weathering, erosion, transportation and deposition.
LEME was an unincorporated joint venture between Geoscience Australia,
CSIRO (represented by the Divisions of Exploration & Mining
and Land & Water), Australian National University, Curtin University
of Technology, University of Adelaide, NSW Department of Primary Industries,
Primary Industries and Resources South Australia and the Minerals
Council of Australia. As such it had access to 155 (amounting to
78 Full Time Equivalent) research scientists, drawn from both in-kind
contributions and cash-funded positions in participating organisations.
In addition it had a large cohort of PhD and Honours students, supported
by its Student
Program. This body of research expertise was assembled into multi-disciplinary
research teams, under a program structure managed by the Executive,
to address LEME's strategic research priorities.
Over the life of LEME (2001-2008) the Centre expected to receive income from
CRC grants, participant contributions and industry, totalling some
$38 M, which was to be disbursed on research. When the value of in-kind
salaries and resources of some $94 M was added, LEME had a total resource
value of nearly $132 M.