Aussie mine productivity world's 2nd worst: PwC

Australia’s mining sector productivity ranks second-worst in the world, with only Africa’s ranking lower, according to a report cited by The Wall Street Journal.

Falling consistently from a peak rating of about 104 points in 2007, Australian mine productivity hit 88 points in 2013, said the PricewaterhouseCoopers report titled “Mining for Efficiency,” according to the newspaper.

Only African mine productivity, with 76 points, rated worse.

By contrast, productivity across North American mines scored 107 points in 2013, the paper said. Asian mines rated 106 points and South American ones came in at 103 points.

Despite efforts to raise output, mining sector equipment productivity worldwide fell 20% during the last seven years, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Meanwhile, The Australian reports that more than 16,000 exploration, metal ore and coal mining jobs in Australia are expected to disappear in the five years to 2018.

Australia's mining industry, once the country's second-largest job generator, appears to have become just another employer.

According to the Bureau of Statistics, the sector added 4,200 jobs in the year to May, far less than the 61,000 it created in the same period ending in May 2012.