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Mining makes the imaginable possible

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Whatever shape the future takes, Australia’s minerals industry will be at the forefront of making the imaginable possible.

Australia’s minerals industry has underpinned decades of high living standards as the nation’s largest exporter, company taxpayer and a significant employer. Parallel to the industry’s unrivalled economic contribution is the role mining plays supplying the minerals and metals critical for today’s technologies, and tomorrow’s.

From cloud robotics to space exploration, quantum computing to advanced bionics, the pace and progress of human advancement will be determined by the technologies made possible by minerals and metals. Minerals like the silicon in next generation augmented reality (AR) electronics, or the neodymium in the permanent magnets that power electric vehicles (EVs), or the copper and nickel in zero emissions energy systems.

Many of the emerging technologies explored in our latest publication will intrigue and fascinate, and some may even give reason for pause. This is equally as important. The onward march of technology requires broad public conversations about what we are prepared to accept, individually and as a society.

But for as many hard conversations, new technologies will increasingly provide solutions to some of the world’s most complex social and environmental challenges. Solutions like micro-hybrid robots that clean plastic from our oceans, or early warning sensors that protect against natural disasters. Not to mention we are only one subatomic collision away from unlocking the secrets of the universe, thanks to the minerals-heavy technology powering particle accelerators.

But whatever the future holds, one thing is certain. The world will need more minerals and metals in the future – not less. Global decarbonisation alone will drive demand for lithium, manganese, cobalt, graphite and rare earth elements for a long time to come.

Australian mining is changing, too. The same technologies – AI, AR and VR – are making our industry safer, smarter and more sustainable. And while we have long been recognised as world leaders in innovation, workforce and environmental stewardship, we embark on this next leg of the journey committed to being a responsible and trusted partner as we provide the minerals and metals the world needs into the future.

Tania Constable

CEO, Minerals Council of Australia

Go to minerals.org.au to take a peek into the future and the raw materials critical to the technologies at our fingertips – and on the cusps of our imaginations

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