Welcome to the latest issue of MINE Australia.

This month, we consider the existential question that all heavy industries must answer: can their work co-exist with sustainable development? There is certainly an argument to be made that all such industries, from mining and construction to oil and gas, are fundamentally incompatible with reducing carbon emissions, such is their reliance on and production of fossil fuels, and that simply eradicating such industries would do the most for the world’s environment. 

But such dramatic steps are unworkable, and many of the leaders in these industries are investing in more gradual reforms. Chief among these is Fortescue, which has admitted that its future may lie in renewables, not mining, and has invested considerable time and money in this new direction. The future of the company could go some way to answer the existential question that plagues all miners. 

Elsewhere, we check in with a number of Australian miners to see how their operations are progressing. From Lincoln Minerals, which has returned from oblivion to extract graphite from the Kookaburra Gulley, to Castillo, whose copper projects are some of the most exciting in the country. 

We also consider investments in satellite technology to provide more accurate location data for Australian miners, and look ahead to the future of rare earth investments in the country.

For all this and more, read on. 

JP Casey, editor