Tasmanian Employer + TMEC Annual Conferences On Sale Now.

Ensuring Mining Sector Innovation


The collaboration between Mineral Resources Tasmania, TMEC and the University of Tasmania was consolidated this year in the State Government’s announcement of a $1 million Mining Sector Innovation Initiative.

The four-year program is set to build on projects already underway at the UTAS Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits (CODES) and expand the use of new technologies to innovatively leverage Tasmania’s growing geoscientific database.

TMEC members have been expressing interest in hosting research projects and trials on mine sites throughout Tasmania that focus on one of the Initiative’s four project areas:

  1. Innovative uses for geoscientific data using new technologies;
  2. Investigating innovative solutions for mine rehabilitation and remediation;
  3. Developing best practice Acid Mine Drainage management guidelines, and
  4. Improving the understanding of landslip reactivation and implications for emergency response.

A governance framework for the Initiative is well underway and the four project areas are being scoped to determine how best to allocate program funds.

The broad and complex issues associated with mine remediation, ranging from weed control to acid drainage, present many opportunities to innovate and deliver improvements in both the efficiency and effectiveness of rehabilitation works.

CODES post-graduate students are developing advanced methods for in situ testing of materials to improve the accuracy and timeliness of material identification. There are also innovative techniques in the pipeline for modelling waste materials and increased use of drones for monitoring and reporting; all of which support the goals of the initiative to keep the industry at the cutting edge of technology and best practice.

The collaboration of government, industry and researchers is what Brett Stewart of Mineral Resources Tasmania (MRT) regards as key to the Mining Sector Innovation Initiative’s success.

“In Tasmania, it can be difficult to get critical mass around some topic areas and some organisations. When CODES, MRT, TMEC and its members collaborate, we see physical projects getting done. It provides the human and financial resources for projects that wouldn’t otherwise happen,” Brett said.

“Each party has its own network which also enables external expertise to be applied where necessary, such as in EPA Tasmania or via specialist consultants. Complex issues can rarely be solved in isolation so encouraging collaboration through the initiative is essential.”

The Mining Sector Innovation Initiative will help our increasingly high-tech industry develop the skills, techniques and tools necessary to remain globally competitive.