New research being undertaken by the Queensland University of Technology seeks to help small mining and exploration companies, but may have slightly missed the mark.

Industry contributions of $400,000 have been provided for a four-year project looking at the history of small companies from 1980 to 2011. The Queensland Exploration Council’s Geoff Dickie says the so-called ‘junior miners’ face an uphill battle to compete, and that the research will help.

“What they come up with will provide some indication to people who are either in the industry now or who are contemplating coming into the industry,” Dickie says, “it will show what they should be doing to be on the successful side and find new deposits and to develop them profitably.”

Rob Murdoch is an advisor to small mineral resource companies with Austex Mining, he says: “it looks like what they're proposing to do is very historic and they're going to answer questions most people in the industry know already.”

Mr Murdoch says the study would be better focussed on the problems facing miners today.