The funding from Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) Ignited Collaborative Project Funds will be used by the firms to develop highly-advanced solutions to meet variety of mining challenges while contributing to the growth and capability of the METS sector.

METS is aimed to support industry-led projects to improve the productivity, competitiveness and innovative capacity in the METS sector.

The funding forms a part of a four-year, A$15.6m commitment made by the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to incentivize collaboration and address METS sector priorities.

Western Australia Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaelia Cash said: “The METS Industry Growth Centre is about industry setting its own plan for growing itself.

“The Government is providing connections and funding, matched by industry, to make these plans a reality.”

One of the projects that have been selected for the projects funding is the drone technology designed by Western Australian business Emapper.

The new technology is capable of undertaking necessary environmental mapping which is required for any mine site, thus reducing safety risks to workers.

Other firms selected for the second funding round under the METS Ignited Project Fund include IMDEX, The University of Western Australia, Manufacturing Intelligence, Energetique Mining Vehicles, Qtec, Resolution Systems and Micronised Mineral Systems.

The technologies being developed by the selected firms include new software that will increase the efficiency of mine truck fleets; technology testing facilities; battery-powered vehicles for underground mining; data acquisition software for environmental rehabilitaton; and a new process for water treatment.

Other projects include technology to enable enabling the collection of real-time data during blasthole drilling to produce more efficient blast designs.

METS Ignited CEO Ric Gros said: “Opportunities for the sector to band together and innovate are vital to the growth of the sector.

“Facilitating such innovation is part of the mandate for METS Ignited, and the recipients of this round will be making invaluable contributions to the mining and METS sectors through their initiatives.”