19 May 2005

University of Queensland researchers have captured the attention of the international mining and minerals community by leading the way in advanced water management strategies.

Director of the Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry (CWiMI), Professor Chris Moran said he has been pleasantly surprised by the reaction.

“Our title alone is attracting attention from around the world,” he said.

“The industry now has a home for its problems. It gives UQ a really clear niche in the field of water resources. We are clearly here for water management in the minerals industry, and the mining community like the idea of that.”

The CWiMI is one of the research centres in the Sustainable Minerals Institute housed in the Sir James Foots building, to be officially opened by Premier Peter Beattie tomorrow.

Professor Moran said historically water management had not been seen as a major issue, but that perception had changed as a result of the price of water and its scarcity.

“Water is already constraining the expansion of the mining and minerals industry. Unless solutions to water management issues are found, we will see a detrimental effect on Australian communities from a downturn in revenues associated with mining and minerals processing.”

Professor Moran said water was an indicator of environmental sustainability and companies needed to implement improved water management strategies if they were to enjoy a positive future.

“There is an industry phrase known as the ‘social licence to operate’. Essentially, this refers to permission from local and global communities to mine. The industry believes that their social licence is on the line, and that is why companies have signed up to sustainable development including water management.”

The major objectives of the CWiMI is to assist the mining and minerals industry in meeting environmental regulations, achieving sustainable development goals, and securing sufficient water for current and future operations

For more information:
CWiMI Director, Professor Chris Moran, (07) 3346 8702, c.moran@epsa.uq.edu.au or Senior Communications Officer, Tiffany Lippett (07) 3365 2049, t.lippett@uq.edu.au