Australia's mining industry is looking positive for 2018: analyst

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 Newcrest Mining Ltd
Miners are seen underground at the Newcrest Ridgeway mine in New South Wales in this undated handout photograph obtained July 22, 2009. Reuters/Newcrest Mining/Handout

Recent forecast states that activity in Australia’s mining sector is set to accelerate this financial year. The mining sector is about to take off again, new report shows.

This is according to the Mining in Australia 2017 to 2032 report which states that mining exploration, production, and maintenance are expected to jump through 2018. Industry analysts BIS Oxford Economics predicts growth of 5.5 percent in 2017-18.

BIS Oxford Economics economist Rubhen Jeya said the investment boom now translates into production, specifically within oil and gas. The country was predicted to become the leading LNG exporter by 2022.

He added that over the next five years, growth in mining production will be more or less double the pace of the national economy. The report signals the resurgence in the nation’s resource sector, specifically in the Bowen Basin.

Adrian Hart, associate director of construction, maintenance and mining at BIS Oxford Economics, has shared his views about the report, saying its main message was that the worst of the mining industry downturn was over and investments were on the rise. He maintained that Australia’s mining industry looks very positive for the coming year even without the Adani project. The outlook did not include Adani’s $16 billion Carmichael coal project.

“We are taking projects out of mothballing, out of care and maintenance and back into production,” Hart said. He also said the mining industry must be viewed as a whole.

The mining industry, he said, will be a positive contributor to the Australian economy in terms of investment activity as well as in production. Coal production in the Bowen Basin and across Queensland was expected to rise for coking coal too, not just for steaming coal. Hart said things are beginning to roll and they are expected to have a significant flow on effect.

Based on the ABS National Accounts data, mining production in Australia grew just 2.5 percent in 2016/17. BIS Oxford Economics forecasted that growth is going to accelerate to 5.5 percent in 2017/18. The remainder of the decade could even see a stronger growth.

Further investment and expansions were expected. Hart named three huge projects to ramp up next year: the Clive Palmer’s Styx Coal Project near Ogmore, Byerwen Coal Project at Glenden (QCoal), and Shenhuo International Group’s Taroborah Coal Project near Emerald. The Byerwen project is the most advanced, and would hire around 550 people once operational, reports Townsville Bulletin.

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