The Australian mining industry is no stranger to technological innovation, but what of technological innovation on an individual scale? Australian miners are increasingly investing in wearable technology, from powered exoskeletons to help with lifting to monitors to check a worker’s exposure to dust, all in the name of improving safety and productivity.

But, as is always the case with sudden technological innovation, the effective integration of these devices and processes into well-established industries, such as mining, can be challenging. Considering that these technologies also interface directly with human workers, these devices must be safely and effectively deployed, else they could undermine the very safety standards they are trying to improve.

Elsewhere, we speak to the Minerals Council of Australia about the future of the country’s mining workforce, and talk to SafeAI about the critical role of automation in the sector.

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In this issue

From smart bands to exoskeletons: mining wearables prioritise a culture of workforce protection

Innovations in mining wearables are pushing the industry to comply with safety regulations. Ashima Sharma reports.

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Keeping up with cobalt: demand and opportunity in Australia

Cobalt is one of the most versatile minerals, but concerns remain as to its extraction methods. Smruthi Nadig investigates.

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The rise of “non-traditional skills”, and the future of Australian miners

As the landscape of mining changes faster than many other sectors, workers face rapid challenges to keep up. JP Casey speaks with Tania Constable of the Minerals Council of Australia about these changes.

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“Autonomous vehicles hold immense potential”: SafeAI on the future of mining

Autonomous mining vehicles have seen a surge in popularity, but how can companies balance innovation and workers’ rights? Kit Million Ross speaks to SafeAI CEO Bibhrajit Halder to find out.

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Outback powerpack: how battery storage could be the future of Western Australian mining

As battery technology evolves, Andrew Tunnicliffe profiles the work being done to deploy the processes at some of Western Australia’s biggest mines.

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“A powerful path towards reconciliation”: How Indigenous voices can be heard in mining governance

Florence Jones speaks to Nina Fouilloux to explore the ways in which Indigenous voices can be involved in mining governance.

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Next issue: climate change

How will one of Australia’ biggest miners respond to one of the most significant pieces of environmental legislation in a generation? We investigate Rio Tinto’s climate commitments, and the company’s work towards the targets laid out in the Glasgow Climate Pact, to look at the future of sustainable Australian mining.