NSW mining sector booming: minister

NEW South Wales Natural Resources Minister Ian Macdonald has told the <I>Excellence in Mining & Exploration</I> conference in Sydney this morning that the mining sector in his state is now booming, following a record $11.6 billion worth of exports in the 2005-06 financial year.

Jesse Riseborough
NSW mining sector booming: minister

He said the export figure represented a 26% increase on last year’s $9.2 billion, with the coal industry, representing 73% of the industry, being the major driver over the past year.

He added that the industry accounted for around 40,000 jobs, both direct and indirect, in the state and would continue to support its economy through the drought crisis currently savaging the state’s agricultural industry.

Macdonald said the government had recently launched a new initiative based on the theme of New Frontiers, New Dimensions, New Energy, which he hoped would ensure NSW remained an attractive minerals investment destination.

“Investment in exploration and mineral development in NSW is particularly attractive to international investors because of the comparatively low cost of discovery and developing new mines in NSW,” he told investors and delegates.

“We have got the infrastructure, the experienced and skilled workforce and the service companies to support explorers and operators. It is all part of the government’s new direction we recognise that a timely approvals process needs to be assured to maintain investor confidence.

“Consequently a whole-of-government approach to major projects has been developed. This involves a coordinated planning and approvals process with predictable timeframes.”

Macdonald also pointed to the massive 55% increase in exploration expenditure in NSW in 2005-06 to $114 million as proof of the continued resurgence of exploration in his state.

“The fundamentals for exploration and mining success in this state are already in place, which include a proven track record of major new discoveries and mine developments, availability of the latest geoscience products, and modern and transparent mining legislation with secure titles,” he said.

“The government will continue to invest in high technology geoscience information, ensuring NSW retains an edge in global competition in minerals exploration dollars."


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