Up to 20,000 mining jobs gone in Australia by 2018 — report
Australia’s mining industry is likely to see up to 20,000 jobs fade by the end of 2018 as one of the country’s leading research firm forecasts a further 58% fall in investments in the sector over the next three years.
According to BIS Shrapnel’s report, Mining in Australia 2015 to 2030, investment in the country since 2014 has fallen 11% from its peak to A$80.3 billion (constant 2012-13 prices). As a result, 40,000 direct jobs have been already lost since the investment peak, it said.
Despite the gloomy figures, the analysts expect mining production to increase 6% per year over the next five years.
“We haven’t hit bottom yet on commodity prices or investment, which will continue to be a key drag on Australian economic growth from here,” Adrian Hart, senior manager at BIS Shrapnel, said in a statement.
“While mining production will rise strongly, led by new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, this growth will be far less employment intensive than the investment phase, albeit offering contractor opportunities for maintenance and facilities management.
Guilty of charge: Coal, Gold, Iron Ore
The consultancy expects mining investment in Australia to continue to fall by about 40% over the next two years, driven by the coal, iron ore and gold sectors.
But as China continues to shift from investment to consumption, the analysts say the market will “eventually see” a staggered recovery across most metals and minerals.
There is a catch though. The experts warn that some iconic Australian commodities — such as thermal coal — face a much riskier future “as energy and environmental policies evolve from here, starting with the climate talks in Paris.”
BIS report aligns with the latest data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which showed that spending on mining exploration hit a near-decade low of A$381 million just in the first three months of the year, led mainly by the country’s iron ore and coal sectors.