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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.


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CRC LEME is established and supported under the Australian Government's Cooperative Research Centres Program. The CRC Program is an Australian Government initiative which brings together research groups with common interests.

CRC LEME Core Parties