“Australia’s resources boom is over”
RESOURCES Minister Martin Ferguson has declared the end of the mining boom, following the shelving by BHP Billiton of its Olympic Dam mine expansion.
“You’ve got to understand, the resources boom is over,” Mr Ferguson told ABC radio this morning.
“We’ve done well – $270 billion in investment, the envy of the world. It has got tougher in the last six to 12 months.”
But Finance Minister Penny Wong contradicted her cabinet colleague. “No, I think the mining boom has got a long way to run,” she told ABC 24.
Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Mitch Hooke also disagreed with Mr Ferguson.
“The boom is not over, it’s just different,” he said.
“The developing world transformation continues to deliver sustained demand growth, but capturing this means growing volumes – the free kick from higher prices is over.”
The opposition will likely seize on Mr Ferguson’s assessment – his starkest to date on the resources economy – given Labor’s re-election strategy is based on “spreading the benefits of the boom”.
The Resources Minister has previously warned Australia could no longer rely on high commodity prices as China’s economy continued to slow, and the maintenance of revenue streams would require an expansion of current capacity.
“I’ve been saying for some time that we’ve done well,” Mr Ferguson said today.
“The next pipeline is going to be more difficult.”
BHP Billiton yesterday blamed crippling development costs and weak commodity prices for its decision to shelve its $US30 billion ($28.71 billion) Olympic Dam mine expansion.
The decision followed Shell’s announcement it would delay some of its planned $17 billion investment in Australia and Woodside’s announcement of a 12-month delay to an investment decision on its $40 billion Browse Basin project.
Woodside’s flagship $14.9 billion Pluto liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia is also in doubt.
BHP announced its plans for the Olympic Dam expansion – which was expected to create 8000 construction jobs, 4000 permanent jobs and 13,000 associated jobs – were on hold indefinitely as it looked to alternative plans for its Roxby Downs mine.
a massive mining project mothballed till business conditions are better e.g..when the other side takes power and repeals these taxes we will think about doing it..the commodity run is over..its only iron ore and coal that are in any sort of demand..the boom may have come and gone before we even realised..