COLUMN-As the commodity mega-boom winds down, the mini-boom gathers steam – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – November 23, 2016)

Nov 24 As the once-in-a-lifetime commodity boom winds down, a key concern has been what is going to replace the mega-projects built to feed China’s appetite for natural resources.

The huge minerals and energy projects that were both the solution and the demise of the China-inspired commodity super-cycle are unlikely to be repeated any time soon, but developments in Australia show it’s not all doom and gloom.

Australia was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the dramatic rise in China’s demand for commodities, with more than A$400 billion ($300 billion) being spent in the last decade.

But with the last of these major projects close to finishing construction, there are widespread fears that the resource sector has very little in the pipeline to employ the army of skilled labour built up during the boom years.

It’s certainly true that there are very few large projects likely to start construction in the next few years, with high-profile ventures such as Adani’s A$16 billion Carmichael coal mine still not a certainty to proceed.

For the rest of this article, click here: