Moving forward in a risky environment – by Nickolas Zakharia (Australian Mining – September 21, 2020)


It would be an understatement to say that Australia’s mining sector has faced numerous challenges in 2020. From natural disasters, to COVID-19 and economic strain, the nation’s battle-hardened mining sector has continued to operate.

When mining’s risk trajectory is considered, COVID-19 is the obvious elephant in the room. A multitude of risks and challenges – both related and unrelated to the pandemic – are on the minds of the industry’s executives and the bodies that represent it.

In February, multinational firm KPMG highlighted several risks that industry was facing in its survey, KPMG Global Risks and Opportunities in Mining – 2020 Outlook. The survey was released months before the impact of COVID-19 was realised.

An Australian version of the survey, KPMG’s Australian Mining Risk Forecast for 2020-2021, was released in July and included survey results from January, along with commentary on the more recent risks associated with COVID-19.

The survey asked the country’s mining executives to identify their top five leading risks for the sector in the 2021 financial year. Climate change and natural disasters (46 per cent) and Commodity price risk (46 per cent) charted the highest among the Australia’s mining risk concerns and showed an upward trend.

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