$13b of mining projects to kickstart NSW economy

 

A massive $13 billion pipeline of mining projects should be given the green light by the state government to pump up NSW's shell-shocked economy, a new report says.

At least 32 projects - including 11 metal projects - are sitting in various stages of planning and approvals.

Mount Torley Warkworth senior mine geologist Nathaniel Skliros, who is based at Branxton in the lower Hunter Vally, with his wife Sophie and four-month-old son Harvey. Picture: Rohan Kelly
Mount Torley Warkworth senior mine geologist Nathaniel Skliros, who is based at Branxton in the lower Hunter Vally, with his wife Sophie and four-month-old son Harvey. Picture: Rohan Kelly

They represent more than 15,500 direct construction and operation jobs and would significantly kickstart the struggling economy, according to research to be released today by the NSW Minerals Council.

The mines also include new projects for rare earth minerals - used in crucial technologies such as defence - with concerns mounting worldwide about China's domination of supplies.

The federal government now says it wants the nation to develop its own rare earth resources.

The mining analysis, Mining For The Recovery, says the economic shocks caused by drought, bushfires and the pandemic have imposed a significant cost on NSW.

"There may never be a more important time to support mining in NSW, one of the largest contributors to the state economy," it says.

Royalties alone from 22 of the mining projects would put $4 billion in NSW government coffers, with hundreds of millions of dollars more flowing in through other taxes and local community contributions.

According to NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee, the number of proposed metals projects have almost doubled since the last report was carried out 18 months ago.

"This is an opportunity to further build and diversify the NSW mining sector and represents a strong industry response to the release of the NSW government's Minerals Strategy in early 2019," he said.

"Overall, these 32 project proposals demonstrate how the NSW mining sector can deliver billions in investment, thousands of jobs and economic growth needed to help rebuild our state in the years ahead, and with the right policies in place to support mining we will do so."

Mr Skliross says mining has “a massive flow-on effect”. Picture: Rohan Kelly
Mr Skliross says mining has “a massive flow-on effect”. Picture: Rohan Kelly

The rare earth projects include the new Clean TeQ Sunrise project.

As well as nickel and the largest cobalt deposit outside of Africa, it will mine scandium which is a critical rare earth mineral.

The project would deliver more than $1.7bn in investment, $235m in royalties and 1300 new jobs.

Mining is already the state's largest export industry by dollars, and employs 40,000 people.

The total 32 mining projects sitting in various stages of planning and approvals include new projects as well as extensions and modifications of existing ones.

They would pump money into regional areas, including the Hunter, which the report said would benefit from $2.7bn in capital investment and 5000 jobs.

Senior mine geologist at the Hunter Valley Mount Thorley Warkworth mine, Nathaniel Skliross, said the broader community may not appreciate the wider benefits of mining on local communities around the state.

"It has a massive flow-on effect," he said.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes said the government had already determined 67 projects in the past 12 weeks.

 

SNAPSHOT

32 approvals on new or redeveloped mines could bring:

  • $13 billion worth of capital investment and 15,500 jobs,
  • $4 billion in royalties
  • Hunter - more than $2.7 billion in capital investment and 5000 jobs
  • Illawarra - more than $2.1 million in capital investment and 2000 jobs
  • Central West - more than $3.6 billion in capital investment and 2500 jobs
  • Far West - more than $2.7 billion in capital investment and 2500 jobs
  • Lithgow/Mudgee Region - more than $470 million in capital investment and 1100 jobs
  • Gunnedah region - more than $1.5 billion in capital investment and over 2500 jobs

Mining in NSW:

  • Already directly employs 40,000 people
  • Pumped more than $13.7 billion on goods and services, wages and salaries, local government payments and community contributions into the state in 2018/19
  • Supports more than 7000 businesses
  • Generated more than $2 billion in royalties in 2018-19, with almost $8 billion forecast over the next four years to 2022-23

Originally published as $13b of mining projects to kickstart NSW economy



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