Mine work

A new report by industry analyst BIS Shrapnel has predicted that mining investment will fall a further 58% in Australia over the next three years.

The report, ‘Mining in Australia 2015 to 2030’, revealed that in 2014-15 mining investment fell 11% from its peak to $80.3bn.

However, mining production is expected to increase 6% per year over the next five years.

BIS Shrapnel Infrastructure and mining unit senior manager Adrian Hart said: "While mining production will continue to rise strongly, led by new LNG exports, the facts are that this growth will be far less employment intensive than the investment phase, albeit offering contractor opportunities for maintenance and facilities management.

"Indeed, we are forecasting a further 20,000 job losses in the mining industry over the next three years, on top of the 40,000 direct job losses since the investment peak."

Mining investment is set to fall a further by 40% over the next two years led by drops in coal, iron ore and gold.

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"While mining production will continue to rise strongly, the facts are that this growth will be far less employment intensive than the investment phase."

As estimated by BIS Shrapnel, the industry represents around 20% of the national economy, and represents 9% of the national economy in terms of production alone.

BIS Shrapnel economist and report author Rubhen Jeya said: "The value of mining production has grown at an annual average rate of 7.1% over the past five years, and there is more growth to come.

"Mining production is forecast to expand by over one third again over the next five years, around double the pace of the national economy, taking the value of industry output to $186bn in gross value added terms (GVA) by 2019-20."

Due to this, miners and traders are moving to a leaner productive operation and some of them have placed operations in care and maintenance.

Analysts added that others companies are continuing to renegotiate contracts and cut budgets, as well as expenses.

Jeya added: "As China continues to shift its engine of growth from investment to consumption, we will eventually see a staggered recovery across most metals and minerals, particularly those which will service the growth in middle class consumer demand, such as copper, gold, and base metals."

Image: Mining investment is expected to slip a further by 40% over the next two years. Photo: courtesy of Suat Eman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.