Back when South Australia was still only a colony it was known around the world, as the “Copper Kingdom”. In 1850, it was producing a third of the world’s copper. These discoveries of copper near Glen Osmond spurred the growth of South Australia, underpinned the flourishing city of Adelaide and funded many of the grand buildings that now give the city its distinctive character.
South Australia holds 68% of Australia’s economically demonstrated copper resources, 27.5% of Australia’s economically demonstrated gold resources, 80 % of Australia’s identified uranium resources and 14 billion tonnes of identified iron ore resources. It also boasts some of the largest recent discoveries such as the Carapenteena, and a discovery of an earlier generation, Olympic Dam.
Mining supports the South Australian economy, with a Gross Value of Production of $4.16 Billion in 2016-17.
In July 2018, South Australia had more than 670 exploration licences and more than 15 major mining projects in various stages of exploration, resource definition and feasibility or assessment. With careful stewardship the contribution of the mining and the mineral exploration sector could grow.
In February 2019, the Marshall State Government determined to raise South Australia’s economic growth rate from one percent to three percent. The way to do this is on the back of the mining truck and the drill rig.
With appropriate regulatory settings, and a focus on approvals, mining and mineral exploration can provide the needed jobs and growth to reach the 3% target.
AMEC’s work in South Australia
AMEC works to lower the cost of doing business and make it easier to operate in South Australia for mineral exploration companies and developing and operating miners. AMEC’s aim is to make sure that each decision maker knows the views of our industry constructively and persuasively.
This would not be possible without the generous and constant support of the South Australian Committee. If you would like to be involved, please contact Neil van Drunen.
Agenda for reform.
With the withdrawal of the mining legislation bill, an opportunity for regulatory reform has been lost. However, there are other measures and reforms that can deliver support to the mining and mineral exploration industry and do not require legislation.
The South Australian mining and mineral exploration is the industry that can create the needed jobs and capital investment to reach the targeted 3% growth rate of Gross State Product. To do it will need Government to streamline its regulatory approvals, reduce the cost of doing business and most importantly, create and deliver an agenda for reform.
Stronger Partners, Stronger Futures stalled
Consultation on the future of Part 9B of the Mining Act is currently paused, waiting on the outcome of the Statutes Amendment (Mineral Resources) Bill 2018. Part 9B of the Mining Act outlines the unique Native Title procedure in South Australia. Mining, agricultural and indigenous groups consider that Part 9B could be improved as it has not been amended recently. Despite the pause in consultation, AMEC has participated in the steering committee. A point of discussion has been the adoption of the national Right to Negotiate scheme. AMEC supports the adoption of Right to Negotiate and has written to the Minister outlining this view. The review of Part 9B began in 2014, and now five years on, it remains unclear how this review will deliver on outcomes.
Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) Report expected before Federal Election
The outcomes of the WPA five-yearly review is expected to be released prior to the Federal Election. It is anticipated that the Report will include improved access to the ‘green zone’ area through an innovative grid system. The grid system will only exclude companies from certain parts of the zone during weapon testing rather than the whole area as is currently the case. AMEC has met with the review committee, provided a submission and been in contact with the Department of Defence throughout the process.
SA Election Policy Platform
Membership in South Australia
AMEC membership is open to all companies working in and for the mineral exploration and mining industry. Full membership is for mineral explorers, emerging producers and miners, with Associate membership open to companies who service the mining and mineral exploration industry. Whether your organisation provides legal services, undertakes drilling, financial advice, or other services that support our industry, you can be an AMEC associate member.
To learn more about our work and the benefits of membership in South Australia, please contact the Manager, Northern Territory and South Australia, Neil van Drunen.