Queensland is renowned for its coal and mineral resources. In addition to these natural resources, Queensland has developed superior mining technology and skilled personnel making it a world leader in mining resources and the industrial biotechnology that utilises these resources23. The industry has “a worldwide reputation for providing solutions to the global mining industry using technologies such as robotics, satellite imaging, and 3D visualisation”145.
“Biotechnology has many potential applications in the mining industry including metal leaching, metal recovery, impurity removal and product upgrading, treatment of acid rock drainage and other uses for environmental control”146. Biomining “has developed into a successful and expanding area of biotechnology”147.
However, with demands for countries to reduce their carbon emissions and investigate more sustainable energy sources, the industry is looking at research and development to establish new low emission coal technology108.
Queensland researchers are currently “developing new clean coal power generation technologies” using industrial biotechnology applications145 with the hope that they will “increase the productivity of the minerals industry and reduce its environmental footprint, both in Australia and globally”148. The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute is one organisation committed to addressing the issue of sustainable development of the mining industry across a range of areas including “mining, mineral processing, water, communities, risk and environment”149.
*Please refer to the LSQ 2013 Directory for references.