More people are warming to the mining industry, according to new research.

Let’s face it, mining hasn’t exactly been a trusted industry for a lot of years, but once people get to see behind the scenes, their perception appears to change.

“The perception of our industry is one that does not care about our people, our communities, our environment or our economy,” Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) chair Vanessa Guthrie said on the first day of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) Convention in Perth.

“In this regard, we all have some ground to make up.”

Guthrie said mining was what kept Australia’s economy growing over the past decade while other countries fell into recession.

“We are the bedrock that supports jobs and high living standards for all Australians, particularly those in regional Australia,” she told delegates.

But it has taken a concerted effort by the industry to start to budge the negative perception of mining.

Guthrie pointed to the Deloitte report “Tracking the Trends 2018”, which found that the Australian minerals industry had taken “significant strides” to improve its image in recent years.

“In other words, we have decided not to fly under the radar, rather our industry at all levels has embarked on a deliberate engagement and awareness strategy to tell Australians that there is more to Australian mining and that mining matters.”

Earlier this year, industry bodies like MCA and AMEC launched new community engagement campaigns that seem to have had a positive impact.

“Today I am proud to say that the community support for Australia’s mining industry has grown markedly since the start of these conversations,” Guthrie said.

“Recent research shows that 55 per cent of Australians are now backing our industry, up from 46 per cent in May 2018.

“The latest research also shows that the industry net favourability has risen from 29 points to 46 points after viewing messages on mine rehab, and mining and farming can work together.

“Further support of the industry increased by 5 points to 60 per cent, after viewing the campaign content on mine rehabilitation, and 51 per cent of Australians were curious enough to ask for more information about mining.”