THE death of the mining boom has been greatly exaggerated, Prime Minister Julia Gillard told a room full of industry heavies in Perth.
Ms Gillard's speech comes two weeks after her own Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson, announced the end of the mining boom - a claim fast denied by both the industry and his own Cabinet colleagues.
In a speech to the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies, Ms Gillard said while coal and iron ore commodity prices had "come off their highs", the mining boom was "not even half-way done".
"Reports of the mining boom's death have been exaggerated," she said.
While the term "boom" is rarely used by the resources industry itself to characterise the rise (and more recent fall) of coal and iron ore prices, Ms Gillard said the boom had three distinct phases.
She said the initial phase; a "prices boom" was now passing, making way for what she called an investment boom, and then a production boom over the decades ahead.