The release of the latest Resources and Energy Quarterly today by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources serves as a strong reminder of the economic benefits delivered by the mining industry.
Australia’s resource and energy export earnings are forecast to reach $450 billion in 2022-23, surpassing last financial year’s record of $422 billion – a record high that contributed to the significant reduction in the budget deficit as announced by the Treasurer last week.
High commodity prices are playing a role in these records, but Australia is only in a position to take advantage of these prices due to increased production across a range of commodities.
In the last decade, over $250 billion of investment in new mines, processing equipment and infrastructure has resulted in Australia’s bauxite mining increasing 41 per cent, iron ore production increasing 84 per cent and lithium output rising nearly 400 per cent.
Australia’s rich mineral endowments and highly skilled workforce combined with investment in advanced technology have created a mining industry the nation can be proud of – one that is a global champion in sustainable mining while simultaneously holding the title of being the world’s largest exporter of minerals and metals.
Looking forward, the resource needs of the world are only increasing.
A large amount of steel, copper, lithium, gold and critical minerals will be needed to support further economic development of highly populated emerging economies around the world while also delivering the technologies needed for the transition to a net-zero economy by 2050.
Australia has significant resources of these commodities, but we face significant competition from other mining nations to attract the investment needed to develop them.
Competitive tax and royalty rates, a stable and sound regulatory environment and flexible workplace relations system that supports productive workplaces will all be essential to attracting the investment Australia needs to maintain jobs, support regional communities and provide the material to build a better future.