The Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC) latest quarterly State of the Sector survey found that Queensland’s resources industry is planning new investments in technology and innovation that will make mining one of the state’s most cutting-edge job creators.
The survey found that resources CEOs are on the cusp of new investments in a diverse range of advanced equipment, from automated vehicles to virtual reality tools.
In addition to this, the State of the Sector recorded that 91 per cent of CEOs are planning further automation activities, a third are implementing artificial intelligence and almost 10 per cent are planning the next step to use augmented reality technologies.
QRC Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane, said the resources industry is one of Queensland’s most resilient and innovative sectors.
“The investments are being targeted to make mining smarter, safer and to deliver even better value to Queenslanders,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“New technologies can increase safety for workers through use in hazardous situations such as fires or preventing collisions in remote operations. New technologies can also be used to maximise the returns from mining projects in a sustainable way. The more of our commodities that are accessible the greater the royalties return for Queensland.”
“But there’s no replacing the skills and expertise of resources employees. Importantly, company CEOs see automation and innovation as a way to enhance their mining projects, not as a way to reduce jobs,” he clarified.
The survey identified that over 80 per cent of CEOs believe their demand for STEM graduates would increase over the next five years, with 35 per cent indicating it would be a ‘substantial increase’ and 47 per cent projecting ‘some increase’. Yet, not a single CEO expected a decrease, with the remaining 18 per cent of responses indicating demand for STEM graduates would remain ‘much the same level’.
“Our resources sector is a heavy hitter for the Queensland economy, and we want to ensure it continues to benefit regional communities and our big cities. Over the last 12 months, the Queensland resources sector has created the equivalent of a new job every 40 minutes,” Mr Macfarlane said.
Lastly, the report found that resources CEOs are vigilant about cybersecurity, with the majority of CEO responses (84 per cent) considering cybersecurity a ‘moderate’ to ‘very high risk’ over the next 12 months. Similarly, none of the CEOs reported a decrease in expenditure on cybersecurity over the last 12 months with 10 per cent of responses indicating a ‘substantial increase’, 58 per cent reporting ‘some increase’ and 32 per cent reporting expenditure was ‘about the same’.
“The Queensland resources sector is on stable ground for the future, with CEOs ready to invest to make the best use of technology, while at the same time ensuring its application maintains the integrity of their businesses,” Mr Macfarlane concluded.
The full report can be accessed here.