The mining boom hid many of the challenges that have since been re-exposed by falling commodity prices. With productivity at the fore, no single company is afforded the capacity to address the major long-term challenges on their own, writes Director of CSIRO Mineral Resources, JONATHAN LAW

Article from resourceful: Issue 10

Jonathan Law, Director of CSIRO Mineral Resources

LEADERS COMMENT

Profits are down and so the mining industry, particularly in Australia, is focused on how to lift productivity in the short term.

This focus on productivity has meant many of the major long-term challenges for future mining – such as declining ore quality and mining to greater depths – have become too difficult for any individual company to solve.

This is especially true in the large capital business of mining technology and equipment. The technologies that the industry needs in order to evolve are increasingly complex and expensive to develop.

There’s no question that innovation will play a pivotal role in transforming the industry, but our success in getting there depends on the industry, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), mining equipment and technology services (METS) and the research sector coming together to work on these common challenges.

At CSIRO, we also believe that effective collaboration – based on strong benefits for all – is the best way to accelerate innovation aimed at transforming the mining industry.

It’s for these reasons that we’ve established a pre-eminent partnership with CRCMining to create Mining3.

Mining3 brings together miners, OEMs and the innovation sector to tackle big problems at scale and deliver them to the global mining industry.

This edition of resourceful highlights some recent research and development contributions from Mining3 partners, as well as several perspectives from industry leaders on how the partnership is positioned to change the way we tackle mining innovation.

Digital disruption is happening everywhere and the mining industry is no exception. Mining3 will also draw on CSIRO’s digital arm Data61 to provide the glue to integrating data into the next generation of mining technologies.

Some of the new tools that will underpin this revolution are covered in this edition, including downhole real-time sensing; pre-conditioning for block caving; new explosives; and inherently safe spark testing.

Right now, there is a great opportunity for new innovators to compete with global giants as we have seen in other sectors – there are opportunities to transform existing companies and build innovative start-ups that position Australia on the global stage.

Mining3 will focus on identifying opportunities to disrupt the traditional mining cycle to enable productivity gains and potentially revolutionary new approaches to mining that embrace ore variability using real-time information.

This is a vision that’s shared by highly regarded industry leader Peter McCarthy from AMC Consultants in his interview on page 10.

Key advantages for Mining3 are its scale, partnerships and focus, built on an extensive global network of experienced research collaborators and industry partners

We hope to bring together integrated solutions from the many elements required to transform mining globally – a great ambition for Australia innovation.

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resourceful brings you the latest in innovation, technology and research from across the minerals value chain — from mineral exploration to mining and metal production. Get it by email or in print.

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