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New resources plan unveils what industry may look like in 2030

Natural Resources Plan mine worker dump truck
Natural Resources Plan mine worker dump truck

In a little over a decade from now the mining sector will flourish in a different playing field, a new official document has revealed.

Asia is predicted to produce more than half the world’s economic output, consume 40 per cent of its energy and be home to a middle class of almost 3.5 billion people by the year 2030.

If Australia can maintain its global share of commodity production, at least 24,000 new direct mining jobs could be created, according to the Federal Government’s National Resources Statement.

The first such statement released in over 20 years outlines how regulatory authorities can effectively attract investment and develop new resources and markets. The strategy also focuses on creating well-paid and secure jobs, investing in new technology to improve environmental outcomes and ensuring local communities receive any flow-on benefits of mining.

In addition to this, the government will continue supporting development of new resource basins, through an existing memorandum of understanding with the Northern Territory on the development of the Beetaloo Basin, and also invest in seismic and aero-magnetic surveys to help discover the next major mineral find through the $100 million Exploring for the Future program.

A new critical minerals work program will separately be established to boost exploration and develop a data strategy to de-risk investment decisions. Funding applications for vital minerals projects will also be prioritised under the $20 million Round 7 of the Cooperative Research Centres Project.

The government believes there is a bright future ahead for the resources sector due to rapid economic growth across the Asia Pacific region.

“Our resources sector makes up 8 per cent of our economy and exports are predicted to reach a record $250 billion in 2018–19. It also employs around 1.1 million people directly and indirectly, and is the largest employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia and Senator Matt Canavan said in a public statement.

“Our work starts now … taking action now means a stronger and more robust resources sector into the future. This National Resources Statement will help keep us at the top of our game and pave the way for decades of prosperity for all Australians.”

The statement was released in response to recommendations from the Resources 2030 Taskforce commissioned by the government in 2018.

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