The Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) in Australia is to develop new technology to make mines more efficient, sustainable and safer.

NIER will develop mathematical and computational planning tools to maximise the value of blended mineral products such as coal and iron ore in the mining supply chain.

The institute will conduct research and develop new explosives technologies to reduce nitrogen oxide gases following rock blasting, making the process safer for miners and the environment.

NIER will also enhance carbon removal in secondary steel refining, which will result in improved quality and productivity in the production of high value added steel products.

The University of Newcastle’s acting deputy vice-chancellor of research Scott Holmes said that by collaborating with the industry, NIER aims to deliver innovative solutions to global problems and contribute to the sustainability of resources and the environment.

NIER has received funding of $1.3m from the Australian Research Council for the projects over the next four years.