The Minerals Council of Australia is calling on the federal government to adopt a series of measures that, in the group’s view, would guarantee the recovery of the mining sector once the covid-19 pandemic comes to an end.
In a document titled Immediate Reform Priorities to Accelerate Economic Recovery, the MCA proposes targeted reforms that include lower taxes, faster project approvals, modern skills and flexible workplaces.
“Our world-leading minerals companies are hampered by regulatory duplication and overlap, while projects take too long to be approved – denying regional communities jobs and investment,” the Council’s report reads.
“Expediting environmental assessments and approvals, reforming greenfields agreements and expanding incentives for exploration will also help realize and refresh the potential pipeline of new and expanding mining projects.”
According to the MCA, Australia’s company tax rate of 30% is too high, not internationally competitive and could put at risk mining investment.
“A potential mining investment pipeline of up to $100 billion of coal, iron ore, base metal, critical minerals and gold projects as well as tens of billions of spending to sustain the Australian mining industry cannot be taken for granted,” MCA says.
“With other mining nations significantly hampered by the covid-19 pandemic while Australian minerals companies continued to operate, Australia’s competitors will waste no time in attempting to increase their share of the recovery.”
The Council’s paper highlights the fact that growing economies of highly populated nations such as India and Southeast Asia will recover and continue to grow with their expanding housing, infrastructure and manufacturing needs supporting higher demand for industrial metals such as steel, copper and aluminium.
In their view, those are markets that the country’s mining sector could be targeting.