Angela Babic

University: Curtin University

Academic supervisors: Professor Robert Cunningham and Dr Christina Allen

Industry partner: DFCRC

Thesis Topic


Digital tokenisation of in-ground minerals: An assessment into the legislative framework of legal title to resources in-ground and native title applicable to the mining sector in Western Australia, and what changes, if any, would be needed to support its implementation

There has been considerable research into blockchain technology and the digital tokenisation of assets. There have been no studies however on the digital tokenisation of critical minerals yet to be extracted for commercial purposes and its impact on their legal title and native title rights in Western Australia. This thesis will look at why digital tokenisation of in-ground critical minerals is important to the mining sector, and the Australian economy as a whole. It will also assess the current legislative framework in Western Australia to see whether it facilitates the digital tokenisation of in-ground critical minerals and native title processes, and if not, what amendments would be needed to support the transition to a digitised mining sector.



The DFCRC brings together stakeholders in FinTech, industry, research and regulation to develop and capitalise on the huge commercial opportunities arising from the next transformation of financial markets.


What part of the business is the researcher involved in?

DFCRC’s Mining and Minerals project


What questions/problems is the researcher helping to answer/solve?

1. Is it possible to digitally tokenise critical minerals yet to be extracted from the ground for the benefit of producers, investors, the economy etc?
2. Can legal title be applied to critical minerals in-ground for the purpose of digital tokenisation?
3. How would digital tokenisation to critical minerals in-ground affect a native title holders right to negotiate?