The CRB focuses on adding value to the SA national mineral and chemical resource base found in the North-West and Southern Gauteng provinces.  This can be divided into two key knowledge areas, i.e. metal-based resources (such as the platinum group metals and chromium) and carbon-based resources (such as petrochemicals, plant oils and medicinal plants).

The CRB is the clustering of related chemical and chemical engineering disciplines which guarantees the competitive advantage of supplying the single largest South African business sector, namely the manufacturing (chemical/minerals/petrochemical/energy) industries, with research expertise and well-trained researchers.