back to pit for loading overburden, hauling activity on open pit
back to pit for loading overburden, hauling activity on open pit dayatrhw

REVEALED: Why 2018 will be the year for mining

BYERWEN, Styx and Taroborah are three coal projects expected to pump $330million worth of construction work into the Central Queensland economy over the next year.

BIS Oxford Economics today release a report Mining in Australia 2017 to 2032, with results signalling a resurgence in the nation's resource sector -- particularly in the Bowen Basin.

The major annual report, which provides comprehensive analysis, market information and forecast for the mining industry, has found activity in Australia's mining sector is set to accelerate in 2018/19 with mining exploration, production and maintenance all expected to lift significantly.

The five-year outlook does not include Adani's $16billion Carmichael coal project (including associated rail infrastructure).

BIS Oxford Economics associate director of construction, maintenance and mining Adrian Hart said the big message from the report was that the worst of the mining industry downturn had passed, and investment was on the rise -- even without Adani in the equation.

"We should be looking at the mining industry as a whole. Even without the Adani project, the mining industry is looking very positive for 2018," Mr Hart said.

"We are taking projects out of mothballing, out of care and maintenance and back into production.

"The mining industry is going to be a positive contributor to the economy not just in production, but in terms of investment activity. We are expecting coal production in the Bowen Basin and across Queensland to rise, not just for steaming coal but coking coal as well.

"We are at the point where things are starting to roll and we are expecting it to have a significant flow on effect. It's not Adani in this, but if that were to appear as well it will be much stronger again."

Mining production only grew 2.5% in 2016/17 according to ABS National Accounts data, but BIS Oxford Economics expects growth to accelerate to 5.5% in 2017/18, with even stronger growth over the remainder of the decade.

Mr Hart said new investment and expansions were expected with about a dozen coal projects on the horizon.

He said the Byerwen Coal Project at Glenden (QCoal), Clive Palmer's Styx Coal Project near Ogmore and Shenhuo International Group's Taroborah Coal Project near Emerald were the three major projects to ramp up in 2018.

The Byerwen project, which would employ about 550 people once operational, is the most advanced of the three, with construction of Stage 1 complete and workers expected to move into the mine's recently constructed accommodation village this week.

Mr Hart said the Glenden venture would provide about $400M in construction work though to 2021.

"We have got it ramping up and there will be potential for some production early on," he said.

"We are talking about a construction program that will go over several years with that mine.

"That is just one example of real activity that is happening right now that is not talked about as being a potential future, it is happening right now.

"Apart from Byerwen, we have Taroborah and Styx contributing this financial year in terms of construction work. It is already starting to happen and will ramp up significantly.

"Out of those projects, we have about $330M worth of construction work this financial year and that is expected to rise to about $950M in construction work in 2018/19."

The report also found maintenance activity would rise nearly 60% over the next five years, offering crucial opportunities for contractors.

Mr Hart said with commodity prices a lot higher, miners are catching up on maintenance activity.

"While the very strongest will occur in oil and gas we are expecting coal to grow about 3-4% per annum in the next few years," he said.

"There is a need now to do more maintenance and they are spending more on maintenance and that's a positive because a lot of the maintenance crews work locally and it secures more jobs in the regional areas."

The report also predicts Australia will become the leading LNG exporter by 2022, off the back of an enormous investment boom which is translating into production particularly within oil and gas.

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