Report: Australia’s mining industry could lose up to 20,000 jobs by 2018
We haven’t seen the worst of the mining downturn in Australia. According to the BIS Shrapnel’s Mining in Australia 2015 to 2030 report, the sector is likely to see upwards of 20,000 jobs fade away by the end of 2018 as mining investments are predicted to fall by 58 percent over the next three years.
“We haven’t hit bottom yet on commodity prices or investment, which will continue to be a key drag on Australian economic growth from here,” Adrian Hart, senior manager at BIS Shrapnel, said in a statement. “While mining production will rise strongly, led by new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, this growth will be far less employment intensive than the investment phase, albeit offering contractor opportunities for maintenance and facilities management.”
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Since 2014, mining investments in Australia have fallen 11 percent with roughly 40,000 direct jobs being axed in the process.
“The persistent drag from falling mining investment has important ramifications for the economy. Quite simply, Australia badly needs new investment drivers beyond mining to provide sustainable growth in jobs and incomes,” said Hart.
According to the report, the one consolation is that production volumes are estimated to rise six percent over the next five years led by LNG exports, including increases in contract mining activity and the mining maintenance market.
Given strong growth in production and related services combined with a falling level in investment, the BIS Shrapnel report points out that Australia’s mining industry represents around 20 percent of the national economy.
“The value of mining production has grown at an annual average rate of 7.1 percent over the past five years – and there is more growth to come. Mining production is forecast to expand by over one third again over the next five years – around double the pace of the national economy – taking the value of industry output to $186 billion in Gross Value Added terms (GVA) by 2019/20,” said BIS Shrapnel economist and report author, Rubhen Jeya.
Read the full report here.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.