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“The resources industry is both high viz and high tech,” says QRC

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Global Mining Review,

The Queensland resources industry is planning new investments in technology and innovation that will make it one of our state’s most cutting-edge job creators.

The Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC) latest quarterly State of the Sector survey has found resources CEOs are on the cusp of new investments in the full range of advanced equipment ranging from automated vehicles to virtual reality tools.

“The resources industry is one of Queensland’s most resilient and innovative sectors. And that’s good news for people who want jobs both now and in the coming decades,” QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“The resources industry is both high viz and high tech.”

QRC’s State of the Sector survey has found 91% of CEOs are planning further automation activities, a third are implementing artificial intelligence and almost 10% are planning the next step to use augmented reality technologies. For example, this might be a virtual reality computer version of a mine that can guide equipment along the most efficient and safest path.

“The investments are being targeted to make mining smarter, safer and to deliver even better value to Queenslanders,” Macfarlane said.

“New technologies can increase safety for workers through use in hazardous situations such as fires, or preventing collisions in remote operations. New technologies can also be used to maximise the returns from mining projects in a sustainable way. The more of our commodities that are accessible the greater the royalties return for Queensland.

“But there’s no replacing the skills and expertise of resources employees. Importantly, company CEOs see automation and innovation as a way to enhance their mining projects, not focused as a way to reduce jobs.

“Resources jobs will continue well into the future, as our resources sector strengthens its role as an early adopter of technology and as a global leader in mining expertise.

“In fact, more than 80% of resources companies expect the demand for STEM graduates to increase in the next five years.

“This underlines the importance of the work undertaken by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), which is currently operating in 58 schools across the state. It introduces students to the diverse range of skills, including STEM skills, that could help them pursue a career in the resources sector.

“Our resources sector is a heavy hitter for the Queensland economy, and we want to ensure it continues to benefit regional communities and our big cities. Over the last 12 months, the Queensland resources sector has created the equivalent of a new job every 40 min.”

The quarterly State of the Sector report also found that resources CEOs are vigilant about cybersecurity. The majority of CEO responses (84%) considered cybersecurity a ‘moderate’ to ‘very high risk’ over the next 12 months.

“The Queensland resources sector is on stable ground for the future, with CEOs ready to invest to make best use of technology, while at the same time ensuring its application maintains the integrity of their businesses,” Macfarlane said.

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Australian mining news