Quarrying & Mining Magazine

Aussie miners look skyward

South Australia Flinders University International Astronautical Congress QM Magazine Featured Image

As the world’s mineral resources diminish, scientists are looking skyward for the next big mining discovery.

Asteroids contain an abundance of key resources and metals that are essential for our advancement, most of which are in decline. These include gold, silver, iridium, platinum and tungsten.

Alice Gorman from South Australia’s Flinders University says we are about to enter a new era of space exploration.

“There are resources in space that we could use for terrestrial industry or to establish and continue space-based industry.

“We [Australia] have a lot to offer in this regard to all of the related areas and should not be taking a back seat.”

South Australia is a world leader in mining technology with good exploration facilities and research institutions, she adds.

Gorman was talking up the International Astronautical Congress, the world’s biggest ‘space’ event, which is being hosted in Adelaide next year and is expected to draw about 3500 scientists and academics from around the world. “We are going to put South Australia on the space map even more than it already is,” she says. The race to harvest minerals from asteroids has already begun after the United States Congress passed the Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act. This legislation allows space firms to keep any resources they obtain from outer space.

The main concern is that only countries with the capabilities of launching mining missions will reap the benefits, contravening a number of treaties and international laws.

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