The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Optimising STEM Industry-School Partnerships: Inspiring Australia’s Next Generation issues paper.
The MCA is the peak industry organisation representing Australia’s exploration, mining and minerals processing industry, nationally and internationally, in its contribution to sustainable development and society. The MCA’s strategic objective is to advocate public policy and operational practice for a world-class industry that is safe, profitable, innovative, environmentally and socially responsible and attuned to its communities’ needs and expectations.
The minerals industry is a fundamental source of Australia’s comparative advantage in the global economy and a major contributor to the nation’s innovation effort. Mining is Australia’s second largest industry and Australia’s largest export earner by a very wide margin.
Innovation is central to maintaining Australia’s comparative advantage in minerals and energy by supporting more competitive, safer and more environmentally sustainable operations. The minerals sector invests nearly $3 billion a year on research and development (R&D) and is an exemplar of collaboration with research bodies.