Kalbar Conversations Column

Minerals and Australia’s economic recovery

   Wednesday 19th May, 2021

Many people will be aware that Australia’s minerals industry is a key driver to sustain economic benefits for all Australians, whether they live in an area of mining activity, capital cities, or regional areas, cities and towns.

According to the Minerals Council of Australia, mining generates $270 billion in export revenue, directly and indirectly supports 1.1 million jobs, and contributes $39 billion in royalties and taxes to state and territory governments.

Earlier this month, the Federal government launched the new global resources strategy which will help diversify exports and find new markets for Australia’s resources and technology. The initiative will also support global demand for our resources as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and help build resilience to trade shocks.

Global supply chains are increasingly being disrupted by geopolitical shifts, decreasing supply chain security, and rapidly increasing competition for manufacturing market share.

Australia is in an ideal position to respond to these disruptions as a reliable, safe, secure and viable provider of resources to the changing world. As a nation, we are also known as a world leader on safety, environmental management, human rights, community partnerships, indigenous economic development and tax transparency.

In a scenario that meets Paris Agreement goals, clean energy technologies’ share of total demand rises significantly over the next two decades to more than 40 percent for copper and rare earth elements, 60-70 percent for nickel and cobalt, and almost 90 percent for lithium (figures quoted from Minerals Council of Australia).

Australia is a major producer of many critical minerals such as lithium and zirconium concentrate and large producer of rare earth elements. We are well placed to support global clean energy transitions as a reliable and responsible supplier of many minerals that are vital to clean energy technologies.

The Fingerboards project is the third largest undeveloped mineral sands resource in the world. Developing this resource will provide a massive economic boost to the East Gippsland region and generate many direct and indirect jobs which will support the supply of the critical minerals contained in the Fingerboards deposit to expanding export markets. It will also provide royalties that will help boost Victoria’s economic recovery.

Australia’s minerals industry provides the materials essential for a decarbonised future. The Fingerboards mineral sands project will play a key role in this big picture.

Jozsef Patarica - Chief Executive Officer