SA Mines and Energy Journal : February-March 2011
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011 SA MINES & ENERGY JOURNAL 4 CEO'S REPORT STRENGTH TO STRENGTH IN 2011 A word from the Chief Executive Jason Kuchel With the holidays behind us and Government Ministers and public servants back on board, no doubt we'll soon be hearing a lot more on the Mineral Resources Rent Tax (MRRT), Petroleum Resources Rent Tax (PRRT) and the Woomera Prohibited Area. In the meantime, changes to local ministry have taken centre stage in South Australia and we welcome the Hon Tom Koutsantonis MP to his new portfolio as Minister for Mineral Resources Development. We also welcome the Hon Michael O'Brien as the new Minister for Energy. Of course, we can't welcome these new Ministers without recognising the long serving former Minister for Mineral Resources, the Hon Paul Holloway MLC, who has demonstrated a real commitment to the resources sector over the past 10 years and has received a number of accolades for doing so. 2011 is certainly well under way and the draft Mining Regulations are taking the limelight at the moment alongside a recent ERD court decision which may have significant ramifications to industry in relation to 9B agreements under the Mining Act and section 23 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act. This is a key issue on which we are currently lobbying PIRSA and the new Minister. On a more positive note, we are awaiting the impending release of the supplementary Environmental impact Statement (EIS) for the Olympic Dam Expansion. Assuming a release not too long after this issue of the journal hits the streets and Government approvals tracking at a reasonable rate, BHP Billiton may even be in a position to approve the expansion before Christmas. Early independent assessments have put the project cost at around $15bn with a total expenditure of $50bn over 30 years. Whilst the expansion of Olympic Dam will clearly provide a steep change in the size of the resources sector in South Australia, there are many other projects coming in 2011. Our lead story by Kate Nash covers some of the exciting new projects for 2011 and the box on page 10 details our expectations for new mines expected to go into production, those under development and those likely to obtain approval this year. Throughout the year, we will continue to keep our members abreast of how these new developments are tracking through our member- only breakfast briefing series. We will also run articles in the Journal on new discoveries of interest, newsworthy projects and stories about what it all means for the economic and social development of South Australia. This year, we will be busy with a number of policy and legislative issues throughout the year, including the new resources rent tax to apply to iron ore, coal and on-shore oil and gas; the introduction of the amended South Australian Mining Act and associated regulations; the Government's response to the Dr Allan Hawke Woomera Report, which recommends co-existence between mining and defence, as well as progression on the implementation of zoning within South Australian Marine Parks, just to name a few of the big ones. Of course, the industry is also beginning to face the realities of skills shortages and SACOME will continue to work to encourage young people to choose careers in the resources sector. We will also be working closely with the Resources and Energy Skills Alliance (RESA) set up by Government to address a number of workforce development issues. Infrastructure still remains one of, if not the, biggest issue for the industry and we will bring you articles on the progress that we make with Government and the Resources & Energy Sector Infrastructure Council (RESIC). On the water front, the State Government has given Centrex Metals' Sheep Hill port proposal 'major development status' helping smooth the way for its approval. Major development status indicates the projects economic significance to the State. Announcements regarding the Port Bonython proposal are also likely around the time the Journal goes to print. Of course, ports take years to develop, but both of these port announcements will give would-be miners the comfort to spend more on exploration and assist in attracting funding for development. With 15 major operating mines by the end of 2010, a further six being developed this year and yet more to be approved, plus a number of exiting renewable energy and coal to liquids projects steadily progressing, the South Australian Resources sector continues to go from strength to strength and the industry's importance to the State continues to escalate. The sector remains the State's number one exporter and we maintain our aim that mineral resources will comprise 50% of State exports by 2015. Throughout the year, we will continue to keep our members abreast of how these new developments are tracking At the time of production, SACOME President John Roberts is currently on leave. His column will return next issue.
December 2010 - January 2011