A REPORT on the long-term sustainability of mining in Australia has found that a radical rethink is needed for the industry to remain viable.
Monash University environmental engineer Dr Gavin Mudd wrote the report with the support of the Mineral Policy Institute.
Mudd says ore grades are in gradual but permanent decline, and the industry can not sustain the increasing scale of individual mines.
“Ultimately, the sustainability of the mining industry continues to hang in the balance,” Mudd said.
According to Mudd, Australia needs to change its mining methods, if it is to meet its greenhouse gas emission targets by 2050.
Principle sustainability issues for the mining community include increasing production, declining ore grades, and increased open cut mining and overburden, according to the report.