In a statement today the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) has called for an urgent increase in national R&D investment, as well as wide-spread use of low-impact technologies in the mining sector.
The mining sector continues to be an essential part of the Australian economy, but practices must adapt to reduce impact on the environmental and cultural landscape across the nation. Shifting approaches is essential both domestically and internationally as Australia cements our place as an ethical producer of critical minerals.
ATSE CEO Kylie Walker emphasises that the statement calls on respectful collaboration beyond the STEM sector, and the need to build partnerships across key 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,” said Walker.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer a strong framework for the shift towards a sustainable mining and mineral resources industry. ATSE encourages mineral exploration and mining companies, together with Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) businesses, government organisations, and industry representative bodies across the sector to use the SDGs as a framework to improve the sustainability and safety of operations, processes, and investments.
“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.”
The Academy, whose Fellows comprise more than 900 leading Australian engineers, applied scientists and technologists, looks forward to advising the Australian Government and industry on shaping a more responsible, sustainable, and culturally appropriate mining and mineral sector.
Aidan Muirhead — Communications Manager