Responsible partnership for mining and mineral sustainability

Image Credit: ATSE, Twitter

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) has urged for an immediate increase in national R&D expenditure and the widespread adoption of low-impact mining technology.

According to ATSE, the mining industry is a crucial element of the Australian economy, but policies must evolve to limit the impact on the nation’s environmental and cultural landscape. ATSE said shifting perspectives is vital domestically and internationally as Australia establishes itself as an ethical producer of critical minerals.

ATSE CEO Kylie Walker emphasises the statement’s demand for respectful collaboration outside of the STEM field and the importance of forming collaborations with critical sectors such as research organisations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities, government, and industry.

“The mineral resources sector in Australia is essential for the global green energy movement. Our nation can set itself apart by being a provider with high ethical, social, and environmental standards which other countries like those in Europe require,” Walker said.

According to ATSE, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a solid foundation for transitioning to a more sustainable mining and mineral resources business. ATSE encourages mineral exploration and mining companies, as well as Mining Equipment, Technology, and Services (METS) businesses, government organisations, and industry representative bodies, to use the SDGs as a framework to improve the sustainability and safety of operations, processes, and investments across the sector.

“We are also experiencing a shortage of skills in the mining sector. Aligning the mineral and mining sector with the SDGs ensures that careers in this sector offer young people opportunities to make positive change and transition the country to green energy in an inclusive and sustainable way. To guarantee a future workforce, we must support culturally conscious and environmentally effective jobs of the future,” Walker added.

The Academy, whose Fellows include over 900 of Australia’s finest engineers, applied scientists, and technologists, looks forwards to advising the Australian Government and businesses on creating a more responsible, sustainable, and culturally appropriate mining and mineral sector.