Minerals Week looks to post-Covid challenges

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt says there are 296 billion reasons for Australians to be thankful for our resources sector as we celebrate Minerals Week.

Minister Pitt congratulated the resources sector for supporting the recovery of Australia’s economy and for building on its reputation as a stable and reliable global supplier of minerals and energy throughout the pandemic

“Despite the pandemic, the resources sector has continued to set new highs, with record exports worth $293 billion in 2019-20 and the latest forecast for another record of $296 billion this financial year,” Minister Pitt said.

“I congratulate the sector for its amazing performance, its ongoing contribution to Australia’s economy and the employment opportunities it has given to around 260,000 Australian men and women, especially in regional areas.”

Minister Pitt said as the world recovers from the global pandemic, Australia is ready to grow exports, and develop new resources and supply chains to support Australia’s economy and the economies of Australia’s trading partners.

“The Minerals Council of Australia is brining industry leaders this Minerals Week to discuss future challenges, and hear about the latest government initiatives to help the sector grow and support our economy,” Minister Pitt said.

Minister Pitt said while the five-year outlook for minerals exports remains positive, the Government was investing in measures to ensure continued exploration and investment to help lock in long-term growth.

“The Government has invested $225 million in the Exploring for the Future Program, which is mapping vast new areas of Australia to help identify potential new mineral deposits.

“The May Budget included a $100 million extension of the Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive, to encourage greenfield exploration and development of new deposits and to ensure a strong investment pipeline for projects across regional Australia.

“The Budget also included $20.1 million to deliver a Global Resources Strategy, which will help diversify and strengthen Australia’s access to key export markets, and reduce the risk of trade disruptions.

“Australia is also strongly supporting the development of the critical minerals sector, which is becoming increasingly important to new high-technology devices in industries including telecommunications, medicine, and defence,” Minister Pitt said.

The Critical Minerals Facilitation Office is working with industry and global partners to support the development of new projects, downstream processing and more diversity in global supply chains.

In the Northern Territory, the Government has committed more than $220 million to support and accelerate development in the Beetaloo Basin, including support for exploration, roads and infrastructure. Four more strategic basin plans are being developed to support onshore gas development and improve our understanding of resources opportunities in these basins.

Media contact:

Minister Pitt's office 02 6277 7180