May 17, 2020

The voice of the Australian mining and exploration industry

5 min
AMEC: The voice of the Australian mining and exploration industry
Founded in 1981, the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) is a national representative body with hundreds of members including produce...

Founded in 1981, the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) is a national representative body with hundreds of members including producers, explorers and suppliers to the industry. AMEC has offices in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, with membership and representation Australia wide.

In order to grow the mining and exploration industry in Australia, AMEC continuously develops and implements effective policy and advocacy initiatives on behalf of its membership.

AMEC is regarded as an extremely professional, credible and effective advocate for the industry by governments, stakeholders, and our growing membership base.

There have been a number of significant achievements on the back of AMEC’s extensive advocacy which provide financial and business benefits for members and the industry. These include:

• Introduction of the Exploration Development Incentive

• Repeal of the Carbon Tax and reinstatement of the full diesel fuel tax credit

• Repeal of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax

• Employee Share Schemes reformed

• Aboriginal Cultural Heritage legislation reforms in progress

• Red tape reduction across all States and Territories

• Exploration incentive schemes - co-funded drilling programs across Australia

• Streamlining of approvals processes at all levels of Government

• Iron ore royalty relief package in Western Australia

• Mining rehabilitation fund and Financial Assurance arrangements

• Wild Rivers Act repealed in Queensland

• Land access for Crown Lands in New South Wales

• ASIC Performance Reporting guidelines

• Deferred cost recovery for programme of works and mining proposals in Western Australia

• Maintained the status quo in the WA royalty system

• Advocating the abolition of stamp duty applied to exploration tenements

To ensure member’s views are best represented in AMEC’s policy and advocacy initiatives, AMEC has formed standing committees across key policy areas. These committees allow members to become involved and directly influence AMEC’s direction and activities.

The current standing committees and working groups supporting the work of the Council are:

• Aboriginal Affairs Committee

• Mining Legislation Committee

• Finance and Management Committee

• Environment and Water Committee

• Corporate Regulation and Taxation Committee

• Safety Committee

• Uranium Working Group

• Plus other working groups on an as required basis.

AMEC is governed by an Executive Council elected from and by members. AMEC is an extremely lean and efficient organisation with seven permanent staff members with many years’ experience and a comprehensive understanding of the mining and exploration sector.

This combined with knowledge and passion for the resources sector ensures AMEC members are provided with the best possible service and outcomes.

Membership provides many benefits to producers, explorers and industry service providers. Members have the ability to develop and influence essential policy issues and potential solutions through governments at all levels across Australia. Membership also offers real time intelligence on public policy issues affecting or likely to affect members’ businesses.

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AMEC has partnered with Strathearn Insurance brokers to offer the Mineral Exploration Insurance Facility. AMEC members are entitled to a 20 percent discount on directors and officers insurance, representing a saving which in many cases meets the annual cost of membership.

AMEC hosts a number of industry networking functions throughout the year which are exclusive and complimentary to members.

AMEC also holds information forums and seminars on relevant industry issues such as: Occupational Health and Safety; Native Title and Cultural Heritage; ASIC and ASX Reserves and Resources Reporting; Tax and MRRT legislation; Environmental Reform, Planning and Approvals.

Members can take advantage of discounted rates for these and other events held during the year including the AMEC Convention, the AMEC Mining and the Environment Conference and the AMEC Golf Day.

Members can also access exclusive discounts from companies with specific products and services to the mining and exploration industry. These include insurance, global mining intelligence, IT services, industry and first aid training courses and corporate travel.

For more information about AMEC’s advocacy and policy initiatives and the benefits of AMEC Membership visit, email [email protected].

AMEC Convention

As a not-for-profit organisation, AMEC organises the Convention for the benefit of its members and the industry.

AMEC’s credibility enables it to bring together world class presenters, industry leading professionals, and speakers from all levels of government. The goal of the AMEC Convention is to provide a forum for addressing key industry issues, finding solutions to grow the industry, and provide industry networking opportunities.

The event attracts a diverse range of mining companies, explorers, service providers, investors, government and media.

In 2015, there were over 500 delegates and 44 exhibitors at the two day Convention.

International Delegations

AMEC members are invited to participate in various international conferences with AMEC at discounted rates. AMEC assists companies to attract investment opportunities for their projects by leveraging off AMEC’s already established relationships, such as those in China and Singapore. This enables companies to interface with the international investment community and source alternate funding options.

Investor Briefings

AMEC facilitates investor briefing presentations throughout the year in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney.  The AMEC Convention also attracts a large number of investors including high net worth investors, self-managed super fund managers, professional investors, analysts and brokers. AMEC members can present to this targeted audience and take up a booth at the AMEC Convention at discounted member rates.

AMEC Prospector Award

The prestigious AMEC Prospector Award for individual endeavour in the field of mineral exploration was first presented in 1993. It is awarded to the explorer or team who made the most outstanding economic mineral deposit discovery within recent years. The award is not an annual prize, rather it is awarded on merit.

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Past recipients include Mark Creasy, Jundee gold discovery; Dr Mark Bennett, Thunderbox and Waterloo discoveries, and the Nova and Bollinger discoveries; Margaret Hawke, John Evans and Graeme Hutton, Discovery of the DeGrussa (Doolgunna) copper-gold deposit; Allan Kelly and Heath Hellewell, Wilber Lode and Andy Well Gold Project; ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Ziggy Lubieniecki, Kyle Prentice and Justin Osborne, Gruyere Gold Project.

AMEC Environment Award

The AMEC Environment Award reflects the increasing importance of managing environmental impacts of mineral mining and exploration projects. It is made to a company that goes above and beyond in their management of environmental impacts or is developing innovative methods to achieve better long term environmental outcomes.

AMEC Media Awards

The AMEC Media Awards were established in 1985 with the aim of recognising excellence in journalism that contributed to the understanding of the exploration and mining industry in Western Australia. The awards were widely acclaimed and well supported, and have become a permanent fixture in the AMEC events calendar.

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May 14, 2021

Copper production from top ten companies to increase by 3.8%

First Quantum
2 min
Following a marginal slump in copper production due to COVID-19, output from top ten companies set to rise up to 3.8% in 2021 reveals GlobalData analysis

Copper production from the world’s top companies is set to increase by up to 3.8% this year, following a fall of 0.2% in 2020, GlobalData analysis reveals. Last year’s marginal slump saw production drop to 11.76 million tonnes (Mt).


The initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mining operations was immense, however, six of the ten largest copper producers succeeded in increasing output last year. In 2021, copper production from the top ten copper companies is expected to bounce back, rising by up to 3.8%, to reach 12.2Mt, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. 

First Quantum

The highest increase in copper production was by Canada’s First Quantum, which, despite all the challenges, reported 10.4% growth in 2020. The company’s Sentinel mine in Zambia and Cobre Panama were key contributors to this growth. While the latter remained under care and maintenance between April and August 2020, it delivered record production levels during the subsequent months.



Codelco, the world’s largest producer of the red metal used in electric vehicles, also bucked the trend.

Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, commented: “Despite Codelco reporting over 3,400 active cases during July 2020, the company achieved 1.2% growth in its production in 2020. The company implemented a four-phase plan, as part of the COVID-19 measures, to ensure the health and safety of its employees, while also avoiding any significant impact to its copper output.” 

Freeport McMoRan

Although the overall impact was minimal, declines in production were observed from Glencore (8.2%), Antofagasta (4.7%), BHP (3.9%) and Freeport McMoRan (1.3%). Reduced operational workforces due to COVID-19 measures, lower ore grades and production halts due to maintenance were the key disruptors to output during 2020.

Electric Vehicles

The move towards electric vehicles and clean energy from renewables sources such as solar panels and wind turbines has driven the copper price to all-time highs. Copper has been among the best performers over the last month where metals ranging from aluminum to iron ore have surged to their highest prices in years. The rally is being fueled by stimulus measures, near-zero interest rates and signs that economies are recovering from the global pandemic. 



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