The New Zealand Institute for Minerals to Materials Research was established in August 2017 as one of four Regional Research Institutes. It is based in Greymouth on the West Coast. At its inception, NZIMMR was provided $11 million of seed funding under contract to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
Two state of the art laboratories have been constructed at Spring Creek, a minerals processing laboratory and a minerals to materials laboratory. These facilities allow the building of strong research capability at NZIMMR.
The NZIMMR’s location in Greymouth is strategic. Here, regional minerals interests include alluvial gold mines, coal mines, and heavy mineral sands exploration. We are part of the West Coast community and are developing partnerships with larger minerals players in New Zealand.
One of NZIMMR's aims is to work with smaller operators to unlock the potential of their mining operations, on the principle of “mine once and recover all”. We are also working to help make uneconomic minerals economic, to meet ongoing, growing demand worldwide for minerals and materials.
We are committed to supporting Vision Mātauranga. This will be demonstrated by building a strong collaborative relationship with Ngāi Tahu, a substantial landholder on the West Coast and receiver of benefits from any minerals produced. The West Coast-based hapū of Ngāi Tahu are Ngāti Waewae and Makaawhio.
We will maintain relationships with both local hapū. Our principal engagement will be through Ngāti Waewae. The following whakataukī represents the core philosophy which the NZIMMR shares with Ngāti Waewae: “Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei” – for us and our children after us. NZIMMR is committed to working with Ngāti Waewae to incorporate Ngāti Waewae mātauranga (traditional knowledge) and strategies (tikanga) into its projects.
Mike Meehan joined NZIMMR in July 2020 in the position of Chief Executive Officer. Mike says “NZIMMR has a strong team and is positioned well to undertake future-focussed minerals to materials research to add value to New Zealand and assist in the transition to a prosperous low carbon emission economy”.
Prior to joining NZIMMR, Mike was the Chief Executive of the West Coast Regional Council from 2016-2020. In this role, he held positions on the Local Government New Zealand Policy Advisory Group, Chaired the Civil Defence Co-ordinating Executive Group and was involved in many other nationally focussed workstreams. Mike is the current Chairman of the West Coast Rugby Union, holds commercial director appointments and has recently been appointed the independent chairman of the newly formed Kotahitanga ki te Uru Alliance.
Mike has a wide range of connections across iwi, government, industry and locally through his previous roles. One of the highlights of his career is the work he led to bring together the first Mana Whakahono ā Rohe (iwi participation agreement) in New Zealand. This agreement sets the foundations for how we work with iwi in partnership and ensures that it is a true partnership into the future.
Dr Sudip Ray
Sudip joined NZIMMR in May 2021 in the position of Principal Scientist. He is a Materials Scientist, with extensive experience in both academic and commercial projects. He has been a lead researcher at The University of Auckland, New Zealand, for 15 years, Project Director for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment funded multidisciplinary research program and Principal Investigator for research and consultancy projects for the industries, co-funded by Callaghan Innovation. He served as a working group member of the University's international strategy and sustainability initiatives and a grant reviewer for the Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi.
Prior to this, he had worked at DuPont, Switzerland as well as on R&D projects at The University of New South Wales, Australia. He was the recipient of the International Central Networks and Partnerships Grant and undertook strategic collaboration with research-led organizations. His research focuses on a broad range of materials development following sustainability principles and application of nanotechnology. His research aims at circular economy, advanced carbon materials, rethinking plastics, surface chemistry and valorization of bioderived materials.
Research and Development Engineer
Dr Quang Anh Dang
Quang holds a bachelors degree in environmental engineering from Vietnam National University, a master’s degree in chemical engineering from University of Nottingham, United Kingdom and a PhD in chemical engineering from University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
His research interests lay in process engineering, system design, control and optimization. He also has in-depth knowledge of analytical chemistry with experience in performing chemical analysis using specialized equipment and analytical techniques. At the NZIMMR, Quang is researching advanced applications from New Zealand mineral resources and bringing high-impact and novel solutions to fruition.