The old stereotypical image of mining the mainstream media presents is misleading the general public about the opportunities on offer to the next generation of mining professionals.
The future of mining is all about innovation, automation, and big data.
To achieve the promise of this exponential growth, the industry will need to attract the best and the brightest from the world's leading educational institutions as well as from other industries that have travelled further down the big data route.
Queensland's changing treatment of exploration data is one development that exemplifies how government can use data management to achieve positive change in exploration.
Queensland resources minister Scott Stewart said data sharing would help drive positive investment across the state and, in turn, Queensland's economy.
"Data and the sharing of that information is what will drive our world-class resources sector in the near future - it is the lifeblood of exploration," Stewart said.
"Almost 20,000 new industry exploration reports spanning the past 50 years will be made available to the resources industry, leading to greater transparency and bringing to light information relating to the exploration of Queensland's coal and minerals.
"This new wave of information, combined with 60,000 existing reports, will allow for informed investment and explorative decisions, and give more certainty for large and small explorers.
"For years these reports have been kept in confidence, but following regulatory changes made in 2020, coal and mineral exploration reports will now be made available after five years as opposed to being held for the life of tenure."
Stewart said the data release would encourage other explorers from across the world to look at Queensland.
Gold received one of the largest boosts in exploration investment in Queensland - up 30% on 2019 with $91 million invested in the December quarter, while coal exploration was up 19% at $209 million, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.
"We continue to lead the way for the rest of the nation when it comes to making data available for exploration and this is just another example," Stewart said.
"Exploration is a key part of the resources sector and the increased sharing of data could help grow the resources sector in the future."
This forward approach by the Queensland government needs to be replicated around the country.
Australia is a leading resources nation with a wealth of information and data it can tap into to help sustain itself into the future.
This will require innovation in the use of data in the industry and a generation with the skills and ambition to use this information to drive mining further.