Capability and impact

SMI delivers knowledge leadership for a sustainable world

The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) is a world-leading multidisciplinary research institute committed to developing the people, technologies and approaches needed to address global sustainability challenges through the responsible supply of mineral resources.

SMI researchers integrate expertise in geoscience, mining, mineral processing, workplace health, safety and risk, environmental management, social responsibility, and organisational improvement to create unique capabilities and collaborations.

The Institute undertakes research in collaboration with industry, governments, civil society, local communities, Indigenous Peoples, and inter-governmental organisations. It translates research into impact through commercialisation, contract research and consulting.

SMI is committed to training the next generation of industry and community leaders through higher degrees by research, formal teaching programs and public and bespoke professional development courses, to support an appropriately skilled workforce.

Strategic Research Programs

The Institute has also initiated five strategic research programs which draw on capabilities across SMI’s research centres and the wider University community to take a multidisciplinary and systems-based approach to key challenges facing society.

Institute Capabilities


Integrated water and environmental management

Quantitative mineral, rock and deposit characterisation and evaluation

Deposit and regional mapping, interpretation, modelling and exploration

Mine waste transformation

Deep mining geoscience

Risk management, hazard identification and critical control management

Human aspects of mining automation

Workplace safety, health, and hygiene

High-temperature processing

Novel separation technologies

Flotation chemistry

Future autonomous systems and technologies

Energy transition and process decarbonisation

Leadership excellence

High Reliability Organisations

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks and mapping

Community and stakeholder engagement

Social impact and cultural heritage studies

Policy analysis and independent review

International development and mineral security

 Advantages of partnering with SMI

Established research institute with demonstrated experience collaborating across a range of disciplines and organisations
Comprehensive and diverse capabilities with ~300 people working across the life-of-mine
Consistently ranked in the world’s top 5 for mining and minerals research


Strong international links with industry, communities and civil society groups, governments, and research organisations
Strong focus on research impact and translation