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SA mining boom to help city

Wednesday, 9th October, 2013

By By Andrew Robertson

Broken Hill is expected to benefit from a South Australian mining boom that could see the creation of 35,000 new jobs over the next 16 years.

Up to 40 new mining and infrastructure projects are expected to be operating in SA by 2030, according to an analysis of that State’s mining workforce requirements.

The Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance (RESA), which conducted the analysis, said companies currently operating in SA’s resources sector are planning for an additional 35,000 jobs - more than double the number employed in the sector now.

RESA chief executive Phil de Courcey told the BDT yesterday that even reducing that number to the 16 “most likely projects” would mean around 27,000 additional jobs.

Mr de Courcey said RESA’s findings were based on figures supplied by the mining companies “so it’s not a made-up number”.

While the analysis focuses on SA, Mr de Courcey said Broken Hill stood to benefit from a cluster of projects located on or near the border with NSW.

Among the largest of these is Carpentaria’s Hawsons iron ore project south of Broken Hill.

But others include Havilah Resources’ Kalkaroo, Portia/North Portia, Mutooroo and Maldorky projects; Sinesteel’s Crocker Well project; Royal Resources’ Razorback project; and Southern Cross Goldfield’s White Dam North project.  

They are all located in the copper, gold and uranium rich Curnamona Province or the Braemar iron ore formation, both of which extend into NSW.  

Mr de Courcey said the projects were at various stages of development and, depending on the type of metal being sought, feasibility.

He said some of the more marginal iron ore projects, for example, could struggle to be brought into production because of the infrastructure required.

“The iron ore projects are really subject to shared infrastructure whereas the copper gold is much more intensive,” he said.

Mr de Courcey said while many of the mines may have fly-in fly-out camps, some were likely to source employees from towns like Broken Hill.

“These towns have the opportunity to look at their preparedness to sustainably attract this workforce to help meet demand,” he said.

Last week the NSW and SA governments agreed to work towards overcoming border-related problems that could impede mining development in either state.  

The full results of the analysis will be presented at a resources industry productivity business breakfast later this month.

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