This interview is from Australian-based Newport Consulting’s 2016 Mining Business Outlook Report: http://newportconsulting.com.au/reports/mining-business-outlook/
SINCE OPENING ROY HILL, WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR 2016?
There are a myriad of opportunities that the Australian mining industry must look to act upon to ensure that it continues to be internationally competitive. We need to significantly cut the Government-imposed regulations, approvals, permits, licenses and compliance cost burdens that are placed on Australia’s resource industry.
One third of Australia’s exports and revenue are from iron ore and coal alone, and both currently have devastated prices. This is seriously hurting related industries and the budget, blowing out our Government borrowings. If this continues, it will cause increasing numbers of people to be unemployed.
Since the first half of 2014, the Australian Federal and State Governments have been well aware of the iron ore and other commodities price crash and continued uncertainty. Yet little has been done to actually address and reduce the onerous and expensive problems it has created for the resources sector.
Daily reports are in the public domain about companies struggling with the resource price crashes, and about companies slashing costs, staff and/or pay, and facing closure. Yet one of the biggest cost burdens, Government, is not similarly slashing the costs burden it imposes, for an industry which has been the most important contributor to our country for decades, and which, in turn, supports many related industries. To continue, these industries must be internationally cost competitive.
How does Australia achieve the next mega-project after Roy Hill if no one is willing to invest money, go through the many risks we did, and contend with the more than 4000 permits, approvals and licenses required, even before construction! It simply does not help the many related industries and businesses involved in the mining industry. This can be seen from the record of our declining exploration and declining investment in resources projects.
If the Australian Federal Government was truly committed to the resources sector, it would look to the example being set by India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. In his short term in office so far, he has successfully achieved significant regulatory, approvals, permits, license cuts and compliance reductions. As a result, he has approximately doubled India’s economic growth, and enabled his country to enjoy the highest economic growth in the world today, with resultant benefits for his people.
WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY FOR ROY HILL IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?
Following on from the successful first shipments of two iron ore cargos in December last year, Roy Hill has now officially taken care, custody and control of its Mine, Rail and Port operations from EPC contractor Samsung C&T. Our attention now turns to the safe and efficient ramp up of operations to the 55 million tonne per annum name plate capacity. This is a significant milestone for the business, as it means we now have control of all business critical infrastructure for the mining, processing, stockpiling and shipping of our ore.
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