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Being surrounded by some of the world’s largest silver-lead and zinc mines, Cloncurry students would be more aware than most of our state’s great mining industry, but yesterday they learnt the pivotal role science technology engineering and maths (STEM) plays in the production of the metals we need for our everyday life.

The students, from Cloncurry State School P-12 and St Joseph’s Catholic School, took part in a STEM Unearthed workshop run by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), supported by local mining company South32.

The 20 Year 10 students undertook three activities that highlighted the important role of STEM in the resources sector.

These involved students setting up a simulated mining operation and producing a ‘rehabilitated’ mine site at the end of 12 mining cycles.

They also used two scientific methods to extract metal from rocks and compared their results to determine which method produces the greatest yield.

This is particularly noteworthy given that South32’s nearby Cannington Mine is one of the world’s largest producers of silver and lead.

“We are very excited to have the South32 staff beaming into the classroom, to help students learn how STEM is applied in the resources sector ,” said Christine Norton Cloncurry State School P-12 Principal.

“This is the first time QMEA staff have been able to attend in person this year due to COVID-19 restrictions and I know the workshop will give students a real boost with their STEM studies,” she said.

“We’re proud to play our part in supporting our local communities to promote STEM career pathways to students,” said Joe Russell, Cannington Vice President of Operations.

“This is a great initiative that is helping students explore the skills that will be needed for the jobs of the future,” he said.

The QMEA is a partnership between the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program. It has 75 schools throughout Queensland.

QRC is the peak representative body for Queensland ‘s resource sector. The Queensland resources sector provides one in every five dollars in the Queensland economy, sustains one in seven Queensland jobs, supports more than 14,400 businesses and almost 1400 community organisations across the state, all from 0.1 percent of Queensland’s land mass.

Media contact: Anthony Donaghy 0412 450 360

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