The smart mining cluster at the QCAT precinct incorporates CSIRO and a number of small to medium enterprises supporting the mining services sector.

Collaborative R&D at the precinct covers a broad range of mining activities from coal to hard rock and sand, underground and open cut systems.

Research aims to improve safety, increase productivity and reduce environmental impact by providing applied technology solutions to major issues confronting Australia’s mining industry.

Research groups involved in the mining sector are:


Many of the initiatives in the mining research cluster fall under the broad goals established under the Minerals Down Under National Research Flagship.

The Minerals Down Under Flagship is planning to help transform the Australian minerals industry with revolutionary new technologies and ideas to solve technical challenges that will be associated with Australian mining operations in the future.

Research in the mining sector by CSIRO falls into four main categories:

Mining Geoscience

QCAT's focus is to improve technologies and systems for understanding geological inputs across the life of mine processes. Key projects include:

  • CoreProfiler - for rapid and consistent capture of drill core observations
  • Sirovision - a solution for rock mass structure mapping and analysis issues
  • Borehole logging - development of technologies and methods for analysis and interpretation of disparate borehole logging data
  • Microseismics - a real-time microseismics system is being developed for underground coal mines

Coal Mining

  • Longwall Top Coal Caving - research and development into mining coal seams over 4.8 m in thickness
  • Inertisation - developing optimum proactive inertisation strategies to reduce the risk of heating/fires in underground longwall mines
  • COSFLOW - reliable prediction and management of mining-induced water inflows and aquifer interference
  • 3D mine scale simulations of coalmine geotechincal and envirnomental issues

Metalliferous Mining

  • SMART*CUT - cutting tools for hard rock in mining and industrial applications
  • Sand Mining Systems - development of underground sand mining systems
  • Large Open Pit Mine Slope Stability Project - is addressing critical gaps in the knowledge and understanding of rock masses and the likely mechanism of failure in open pit mines
  • ROESTM- a new non-entry mine method to improve mine safety and efficiency
  • Deep sea mining - development of a potential template for progressing the deep sea floor mining industry

Mining Automation

CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering and the CSIRO ICT Centre's collaboration has continued to produce novel and robust industrial solutions as well as stimulate new science ideas. Key projects include:

LinkCSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering

LinkCSIRO ICT Centre website

LinkMinerals Down Under National Research Flagship

Applied Mining Technologies Pty Ltd

Applied Mining Technology (AMT) plays a key role in the successful transfer of mining guidance technologies from the research to a commercial, industry-accepted solution for highwall mining applications. In collaboration with major equipment manufacturers and suppliers, AMT has developed complete and integrated highwall monitoring and control packages incorporating inertial and horizon control technologies.

LinkApplied Mining Technologies Pty Ltd website

Cutting Edge Technology Pty Ltd

Cutting Edge Technology (CET) is a mining consultancy that specialises in the research and development of mining systems, integrating geomechanical and mining equipment engineering.

Cutting Edge TechnologyAs part of CET, Coal Augering Services Pty Ltd offers a complete contract auger mining service employing the highest capacity equipment and most experienced auger mining personnel in the world.

Auger mining is employed to increase reserves, accessing coal lying beyond the economic reach of conventional stripping operations.

Coal Augering Services, new generation of coal recovery augers is capable of drilling holes with diameters ranging from 1.2m up to 1.9m, to a depth of more than 200m and augering up to 2,400 tonnes in a 12-hour operating shift.

LinkCutting Edge Technology Pty Ltd website

GeoTek Solutions Pty Ltd

GeoTek SolutionsGeoTek Solutions is a geotechnical consultancy specialising in slope stability for open cut mines. Reflecting the continuing importance of coal to Queensland's economy, GeoTek Solutions has operated most recently in the Bowen Basin.

At the beginning of 2007, in collaboration with CSIRO, GeoTek Solutions mapped the whole of the ok Tedi open cut mine in PNG for geological structures.

LinkGeoTek Solutions Pty Ltd website


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