Quantum technology potentially worth $4bn for mineral exploration

Australia’s emerging quantum technology sector has been identified by CSIRO as a promising long-term opportunity for mineral exploration in the country.

The sector could create over $4 billion of annual revenue and support 16,000 jobs by 2040.

CSIRO developed an innovative mineral exploration system using superconducting quantum sensors, which had enabled mineral resource discovery worth billions of dollars in the past decade.

The system, which is called LandTEM, detects mineral ore through cover at greater depths than conventionally used magnetometers and makes for far more precise deposit discoveries.

Quantum technologies can also accelerate drug and materials development and enhance national security.

As Australia recovers from the impacts of coronavirus, CSIRO stated that quantum would be vital in creating new industries to produce high margin products and boost the economy.

“Quantum computing has the potential to contribute more than $2.5 billion to the economy each year, while spurring breakthroughs, more efficient industrial processes and accelerated machine learning systems,” CSIRO chief scientist doctor Cathy Foley said.

“The commercialisation of quantum enhanced sensors and communications technologies could also generate upwards of $1.7 billion revenue.

“To realise these opportunities, we need a national conversation about a coordinated, collaborative approach to growing a thriving domestic quantum economy.”

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