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Australian technology to aid landmine clearing efforts

Canberra, April 4 (IANS) Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) on Tuesday announced that it has developed new technology to help global landmine clearing efforts.

The new detection technology, revealed by the CSIRO to coincide with International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, uses magnetic resonance technology capable of detecting the molecular signature of explosives used in landmines, reports Xinhua news agency.

It is more reliable than metal detectors currently used to detect landmines as well as being cost-effective.

The CSIRO has established a new company, MRead, to develop the technology into hand-held detectors.

“The precision of this technology will be a game-changer for landmine-clearing efforts, delivering a solution that is faster and more reliable than current detectors, which in turn protects the people doing the clearing and expands the range of clearing efforts to make the world a safer place,” Larry Marshall, chief executive of the CSIRO, said in a media release.

It is estimated that there are 110 million land mines in the ground right now across more than 60 countries. An equal amount is in stockpiles waiting to be planted or destroyed.

According to the �International Campaign to Ban Landmines network’, more than 4,200 people, of whom 42 per cent are children, have been falling victim to landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) annually in many of the countries affected by war or in post-conflict situations around the world.

Mines kill or maim more than 5,000 people annually.

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