BHP: Australia’s Mining Sector World Leading but Challenges Lie Ahead

by | 20. Nov 2023 - 09:12 | Politics

Mining giant urges politics and industry to join forces to keep Australia competitive amid the energy transition.

Economies around the world are transitioning their economies away from fossil fuels to renewable energies. With it, the demand for critical minerals is growing, presenting opportunities for resource-rich countries like Australia, which has already become a significant global supplier of raw materials like lithium. In a new report, Melbourne-based BHP, the largest mining company in the world, now calls for industry and politics to work together to ensure Australia’s mining sector remains competitive. In the report, BHP highlights the country’s advantages and achievements but acknowledges the challenges ahead.

Growing Demand – Growing Need to Act

According to BHP, exports from the mining sector accounted for 37 percent of Australia’s total goods and services export revenues in 2021-22 with $142,8 billion (A$218). With the growing demand for critical minerals for the global energy transition and to reach climate targets, Australia’s mining sector has unique growth potential, the report adds. However, challenges such as a lack of proper infrastructure, increasing vacancies of jobs in the mining sector, and investment headwinds from the government dampen this potential. BHP thus urges policymakers to implement policies to attract investment in the industry, such as advancing infrastructure projects, streamlining the permitting process of new projects, and joining forces with the industry to ensure a stable, skilled workforce. BHP’s CEO Mike Henry repeatedly called for a massive investment wave of $100 billion annually in the mining sector worldwide to meet climate targets as critical raw material production must catch up with the growing demand.

Similar to BHP’s new report, consultancy PwC argues that Australia’s mineral wealth presents vast opportunities if the right decisions are made. According to PwC, progress has been made, but policymakers must act. The consultancy also emphasizes the urgency of attracting a skilled workforce and advocates for simplifying regulations for new mining projects.

Find the full report here (PDF).

Photo: iStock/slovegrove

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