PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt has congratulated the resources sector on its performance during the Covid-19 pandemic and for supporting the recovery of the Australian economy while 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 A$293-billion in 2019/20 and the latest forecast for another record of A$296-billion this financial year,” 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.”
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.
He noted that 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 A$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 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 A$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,” 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 A$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.