Welcome to the latest issue of MINE Australia.

In the first of this year’s monthly issues, we look at a convergence of data collection and technological innovation, to ask how airborne electromagnetic data could be used to shape the future of Australian mining. With data from the largest such survey ever carried out in Western Australia now freely available from Geoscience Australia, the information could herald a new generation of open access mineralogical data, to be used for the benefit of all within the mining sector. 

Of course, the most exciting part of any new innovation is the optimism surrounding its scope for other uses, and potential to be scaled up for other projects. With Australia committing to mining with a renewed enthusiasm following China’s interest in purchasing its minerals once more, a wave of optimism and excitement is sweeping across the sector, if the technology can be properly implemented. 

Elsewhere, we focus on some of the most important commodities to Australian mining, from uranium across the state, to coal in Queensland. With both offering considerable benefits for both Australian finances and energy security, we ask if these commodities are likely to be safely and responsibly sourced as appetite for mineral wealth continues to soar. 

We also assess the impacts of a multi-billion dollar merger between BHP and OZ Minerals, asking if such deals will be the future for those at the top of the Australian mining pyramid, and consider how the industry as a whole can best tackle the challenges of reskilling. With technological and operational innovation taking place at a rate never before seen, considerable time and effort will need to be spent in retraining and retooling Australia’s workforce for the future, lest a generation of miners be left behind as the industry drives relentlessly on. 

For all this and more, read on. 

JP Casey, editor