Almost 30,000 mining jobs and $9.5bn in investments at risk in Australia

Close to US$9.5 billion in lost investments and nearly 30,000 job losses could be the dramatic result of project deferrals in Australia’s east state of New South Wales.

This is the main conclusion of a research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) commissioned by NSW Minerals Council, which shows project delays of 12 months or more would also cost the state around $550 million (A$600m) a year in lost mining royalties over the next 20 years.

NSW Minerals Council chief executive, Stephen Galilee, said the research —part of the state's draft review of its planning system— echoes the mining sector concerns about how the scheduling system is denting resources investments and creating a level of uncertainty likely to trigger mass job cuts.

“To avoid an economic body blow of this magnitude the NSW Government needs to replace the current broken planning system with a more efficient system that provides certainty and consistency for mining projects,” he said.

“These significant economic costs are most keenly felt in our key mining regions like the Hunter and the Illawarra and the local communities near where mining takes place,” Galilee added.

Hunter’s coal sector is already starting to feel the effects of this issue, as a Caterpillar supplier WesTrac announced yesterday it was cutting 350 jobs due to weak demand. A few days earlier newly merged GlencoreXstrata (LON: GLEN) axed 46 workers at its Ravensworth mine, adding 450 across all of its coal mines on Thursday.

Peabody Energy Corp (NYSE:BTU) followed announcing plans to cut around 450 contractor jobs.

In total Australia’s coal sector lost over 1,000 mining jobs last week alone.

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