The Australian Resources and Energy Employer Association (AREEA) and its CEO Steve Knott AM welcomes the Federal Government’s bolstered commitment to developing the huge market potential of Australia’s critical minerals reserves.
In committing a further $2 billion to finance Australian critical minerals mining and processing projects, the Government is making a sound investment in the capabilities and innovation of Australia’s miners.
AREEA’s Resources and Energy Workforce Forecast report (2023-2028 edition) demonstrates the jobs and investment potential of the critical minerals sector.
Counting lithium, other critical metals and rare earths, an astounding 25 projects are considered advanced and likely to enter production by the end of 2028.
These advanced critical minerals projects are worth an estimated $14 billion in capital investment and forecast to create about 4400 long-term production jobs.
This accounts for around 10 per cent of new project capital and almost 16 per cent of total forecast jobs growth in Australian resources and energy projects over the next five years.
Looking beyond advanced projects to those in feasibility stages, and including construction, the true potential for workforce growth easily exceeds 15,000 jobs.
The Government should heed caution according to Knott, bringing this potential to fruition will take more than simple funding commitments. A carefully balanced approach to industry regulation is equally important to fostering investment and innovation in the Australian mining industry.
By removing unnecessary red tape for project approvals, having competitive and stable taxation arrangements and a workplace relations system fit for the future, all governments will maximise Australia’s opportunity to elevate feasible projects into final investment stage.