A landmark report from Rio Tinto has revealed a culture of harassment at its operations, which has led to accusations of bullying and sexual assault within one of the world’s biggest miners. Should Rio Tinto deserve some credit for drawing attention to the presence of this culture, or should they be held responsible for this example of yet another, miserably familiar, example of misogyny in an industrial sector?

Elsewhere, we ask how the Australian mining sector is adapting to some of the biggest challenges in the industry. From the impacts of Covid-19 on FIFO work to ongoing concerns about mining’s environmental footprint, the industry is having to demonstrate its resilience and flexibility in what we all know to be thoroughly unprecedented times.

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In this issue

“Deeply disturbing”: the culture of bullying in Rio Tinto and beyond

In an industry first, Australian miner Rio Tinto has conducted a review into workplace culture and psychological safety at its operations. Scarlett Evans takes a look at the report’s findings, and what it may mean for the industry’s future.

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Renewable mining: can mining clean up its carbon footprint?

Mining remains one of the most energy-intensive industries in Australia, consuming around one-tenth of the country’s total energy production. But as miners and governments alike push for more green power at operations, Heidi Vella asks if the industry could clean up its carbon footprint?

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Australia’s new gold rush? The post-pandemic gold industry

Gold has consistently been a key investment commodity, with Australia leading the charge in production alongside China and Russia. As post-pandemic consumer demand for the precious metal picks up, Scarlett Evans investigates why the industry is only expected to go from strength to strength.

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The FIFO frontline: Covid-19 and Australian mining

Can Western Australia continue to operate safely, keep production going and address skills shortages if it doesn’t allow professional to cross its borders? Andrew Tunnicliffe finds out.

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Inside Australia’s Accelerating Commercialisation project

Could government grants help the Australian mining industry remain productive and profitable in the long-term? JP Casey speaks to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources about the Accelerating Commercialisation project.

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Next issue: exploration

Australia is a vast country with an equally huge mining industry, and these facts have encouraged generations of constant exploration and surveying to find the next profitable mineral deposit. Yet with the world’s mineral reserves already stretched to breaking point, and miners having to settle for increasingly low-quality ores to meet growing demand, exploration is not so much about striking it rich, but finding the next ore body to simply keep the wheels of industry turning. How will Australian mining respond to this tenuous mining climate?