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Environment, Oil Mining Resources

Transforming mining

Towards zero deaths, robot dozers, saving sand, Moon mining 4 mins read

Just another day for Brisbane’s mining pioneers

Media call, noon Sunday at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, on the steps of the Merivale Street entrance.

Brisbane is hosting the World Mining Congress this week, starting Monday, with 3,000 delegates from 70 countries.  

We’re offering interviews and a media call at noon today to brief you on the Congress, and Brisbane’s ongoing role in creating a safer, more sustainable industry.

  • World Mining Congress program manager Prof Mike Hood
  • Brisbane’s CSIRO researchers who
  • Have made deep mining safer with longwall technology
  • Are now helping NASA prepare for mining on the Moon
  • The sand guru from UQ – sand is the most mined material on Earth
  • And Thiess – started as a road building business, now a leader in autonomous mining services
  • Plus overlay of autonomous vehicles, NASA’s Artemis mission and more
  • Plus Centre walk through of exhibition set up with trucks, tech and hi vis.  

Tomorrow, Monday 26 June, Brisbane welcomes 3,000 delegate to the 26th World Mining Congress and the first in Australia. The Congress has been ten years in the planning with CSIRO’s Hua Guo leading a delegation to Brazil to bid for Brisbane in 2016.

“Here at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, in the heart of beautiful Brisbane, we have gathered the greatest minds in mining around the world, the influential companies, the smartest inventors, the most progressive investors and thousands of passionate delegates,” says Dr Guo who is the Congress Chair.

“Together, we are the people who can reimagine mining to resource the world for tomorrow, creating value for society,” he says.

“We started organising the Congress on the cusp of COVID, in February 2020,” says Congress organiser Emma Bowyer. “It’s exciting to be back in action and filling Brisbane’s massive Convention Centre.”

The big question at the Congress is, “Can mining walk and talk the same time,” says Professor Mike Hood, program director for the Congress. “Can we find and sustainably mine the vast amounts of critical minerals needed for decarbonisation. And at the same time, how can we decarbonise the industry itself, and make mining safer.”

“Brisbane researchers have many of the answers,” he says.

Sand is the most exploited natural resource on the planet,” says UQ’s Professor Daniel Franks. It’s the critical mineral for city and infrastructure building. for cities. However, its extraction from seas, rivers, beaches and quarries has an impact on the environment and surrounding communities. He’s leading a symposium on Monday on how to produce sand and other building materials sustainably, including harvesting it from mining waste.

“Around 90 per cent of Australia’s underground coal production comes from longwall mining using massive machines augmented with automation technologies developed by CSIRO in Brisbane,” says CSIRO’s Dr Jonathon Ralston. “At the Congress we’ll present our latest remote innovations utilising 50 individual lidars, multiple cameras, and high-performance inertial sensors on production mining equipment.”

He says that this technology combined with modelling, data fusion and visualisation will provide real time, actionable information for underground mining operations, making them safer.

And he’ll talk about the other end of the scale – small scale mining on the Moon to support NASA’s planned return mission, Artemis. Producing just one kilogram of a resource such as water, oxygen or a building material on the Moon could save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mining industry pioneer Thiess will be joining Caterpillar at the Congress for a live demonstration of remote operation of Cat semi-autonomous dozers on an operating mine site, more than 800km away in Central Qld. Trent Smith, Group Manager – Autonomy Services is available at the media call to discuss Thiess’ shift to autonomous mining

The five Thiess brothers started as road contractors on the Darling Downs in 1934. They went on to win their first mining contract at Muswellbrook Coal Mine in the Hunter Valley in 1944.

And then the Congress. On the first day we will explore:

  • Minerals policy requirements for the next 30 years
  • Sand – the most mined material  on Earth, critical for all infrastructure, including renewable energy
  • Sustainable concrete in an urbanising world
  • The art of closure: Mines turning into physics labs, parks, pumped hydro.
  • First Nations perspective on mining closures and transitions - voices from Australia, Canada and Mongolia
  • Plus state and federal ministers speaking.

Media accreditation is still open.

For more information and accreditation contact
Niall Byrne,,  +61-417-131-977 and visit

About the Congress

The World Mining Congress was first held in 1958 in Poland. It has been held every two to three years ever since. It is UN-affiliated and continues to have a secretariat in Poland.

The 26th World Congress will be held for the first time in Australia, spanning the entire Brisbane Convention Centre from 26 to 29 June 2023. The Congress anticipates over 3000 participants from over 70 countries.

The Congress was brought to Australia with the support of the host, CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency. The Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources is our Major Sponsor and Queensland is our Host State Sponsor. A large suite of leading global and national companies and research agencies are also major sponsors of the Congress.

Inclusion of Congress speakers in media releases does not imply endorsement by the WMC, its hosts, partners and sponsors.

For more information and accreditation contact
Niall Byrne,,  +61-417-131-977 and visit


NASA moon mission media kit:

And video

Thiess media kit and overlay:

CSIRO Longwall automation:

CSIRO Moon mining:

UQ and sand: and




Contact details:

For interviews and accreditation contact Niall Byrne,   +61-417-131-977 an visit

Media releases at 

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