The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) has today confirmed the ongoing strength of the Australian minerals sector and its importance to the economy.

In its bi-annual overview of resources and energy projects, BREE identifies 153 mining and related infrastructure projects under feasibility examination with a combined value of about $146 billion.

Of those projects, there are 50 new coal developments under feasibility examination with a combined value of $54 billion. There are more coal projects at the feasibility stage than any other commodity.

There are 10 gold projects worth $2.1 billion and 22 iron ore developments valued at $39.6 billion. Nine copper projects, seven nickel mines and two uranium developments are at feasibility stage according to BREE.

The BREE report shows that mining continues to be a vital and indispensable source of economic activity in Australia.

It also confirms that Australia’s coal sector will continue to be a mainstay of the Australian economy for many years to come.

Australia is a major supplier of high-quality coal to both mature and emerging markets, accounting for around 60 per cent of world trade in metallurgical coal and 20 per cent of world trade in thermal coal. These exports are worth about $50 million per year to Australia. The coal industry also underpins Australia’s reliable and affordable electricity supply.

The BREE report shows that in the 12 months to October 2013, there has been a production capacity increase of 13 million tonnes of coal – with a further 60 million tonnes under construction.

The BREE report also confirms that the mining boom has delivered significant economic benefits to Australia and will continue to do so.

“While the capital inflows associated with investment phase of the mining boom have brought substantial economic benefits to Australia they are realised over a relatively short period of time. The economic benefits of the production phase may not be as large as the investment phase per year, but they are expected to last for considerably longer,”
BREE says.

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