Bowen Basin mining and support companies and businesses will collaborate to find solutions to challenges facing the industry as part of a Paluszczuk Government plan to generate more than 3000 extra mining technology jobs over the next decade.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the pilot METS Ignited Bowen Basin Cluster Program would be launched on Monday in Mackay.
“Encouraging companies to collaborate to develop and commercialise solutions identified by Bowen Basin mining companies is one of the key actions of our Queensland METS ((mining equipment, technology and services) 10-year Roadmap and Action Plan,” Dr Lynham said.
“The program offers an opportunity for companies that have complementary skills and expertise to collaborate to solve real business problems, to deliver more long-term jobs and business opportunities for regional Queenslanders,” Dr Lynham said.
Challenges, which collaboration between the industries have previously tackled, include accelerating the timeline of rehabilitation and remediation on operational mine sites and installing environmental monitoring systems in underground operations to improve health and safety of miners.
The Roadmap and Action Plan is part of the Queensland Government’s $420 million Advance Queensland initiative to create knowledge-based jobs of the future for Queenslanders backed by a $7 million mining technology specific investment.
“Local miners will identify their challenges, and local mining technology companies will collaborate on innovative solutions to bolster the North Queensland economy,’’ Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said.
“We want to make it easier for companies to turn their ideas into commercial products for market.’’
Member for Mirani Jim Pearce said the Bowen Basin was chosen for the program because it was home to world-leading mining technology companies with a long history of finding the solutions to the problems faced by mining companies in their local area and internationally.
“Our companies are international market leaders in exploration, mine design and construction, mine safety, minerals processing, remediation and rehabilitation,’’ Mr Pearce said.
Queensland’s mining, equipment and technology sector contributes $7 billion to the economy each year and employs almost 20,000 people and has huge potential for further domestic growth and even greater expansion overseas.
The program is a joint initiative between the Queensland Government and METS Ignited. METS Ignited is an industry-led, government-funded, Growth Centre for the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector.
Applications for the program through www.metsignited.org and close on 30 October 2017.