However, we mustn’t forget that the world’s population continues to grow at an increasing rate and developing countries have an increasing need for resources.
Australia is a still a country rich in natural resources and is well positioned to maximise on the opportunities that result in growing global population, development and demand.
The Mining Industry Is Still Expected to Expand
Growth is still growth…whilst it may be slower than previous, it’s still clear this is not an industry in decline. The Australian reported in July last year “Overall, we expect the mining sector to continue to expand. The arithmetic is as follows: mining investment is expected to fall by 3-4 per cent of GDP in the next few years, but we expect only half of this will be felt locally, due to an offsetting fall in imported capital. We expect the increase in resources exports to add about 2-3 per cent of GDP. Mining GDP is therefore expected to continue to expand, albeit much more slowly than in recent years.”
Australia’s fit for the long distance run
Australia has built significant capacity to meet long-term demand for commodities and our Asia connections will get stronger. Australia’s future is bright. As also reported in the July 14 article in The Australian “The mining boom involved massive construction of iron ore, coal and liquefied natural gas production and export facilities across Australia to meet medium-term demand for these commodities. Iron ore and coal exports are already at record highs and there are more mines yet to start producing.”
“Most importantly, the seven major liquefied natural gas projects, more than three-fifths of the overall investment, are also yet to be switched on. From 2016 to 2020 LNG exports are expected to more than triple. These LNG projects all have long-term forward contracts to sell to China, Japan, South Korea and India. When they become productive, the ramp-up in exports will be pretty much locked in.”
Innovation will grow profitability and productivity
Futurist Morris Miselowski predicts that technology will play a big role in increasing the profitability and productivity of mining. He expects we will start to see “An increase in the convergence of biotech, nanotech and IT we will see previously abandoned mines come back on stream and making once inaccessible and unprofitable mines profitable.
Technology will continue to evolve exponentially in the mining and energy sectors and will bring with it the ability to extract more from less and to profitably go deeper, wetter and further than we have ever been able to before.
These new technologies and practices they will bring will take what we know and extend on it, but will also offer us new and presently unheard of innovation which may include what may now seem incredulous practices like using various bacteria’s and mechanical microbots to get into places and reduce cost of recovery and also to transmute material concentrating resource reserves into more economical extractions.”
The Resources and Investment Symposium 24 – 27 May in Broken Hill will focus on looking in new directions and how the industry and investors can maximise new opportunities.