Mining and other businesses in western Australia are struggling to keep up with rising demand for copper and gold amid the economic downturn.
The mining industry has also been hit by a slowdown in mining, with production falling by around a third since 2015, and the number of mines in operation falling by more than 40 per cent between 2016 and 2017.
In March, the Bureau of Meteorology said there were more than 30,000 new mine applications for mining permits in Western Australia, and there was a spike in the number and types of applications made.
“There is still a lot of uncertainty and uncertainty over the future,” Professor Bruce Anderson from the University of New South Wales said.
Dr Anderson said he thought the uncertainty was likely to continue as the market struggled to find buyers.
But there were signs that the mining industry was not the only industry to be hit by the downturn.
“We see a big drop in gold mining in the north and in the south of Western Australia,” Dr Anderson said.
“A lot of gold is in those mines.
So we see a lot more mining in that area.”
“We do see a significant increase in the demand for iron ore, particularly in the mining region.”
Professor Anderson said the industry was being hit by another downturn, with copper prices down around 20 per cent in the last year and gold prices down more than 80 per cent.
He said there was little indication yet what the impact of the downturn on the mining sector would be, and some mining companies were still struggling to find their footing.
Gold price is up around 40 per 100 tonnesIn an interview with ABC Radio Perth on Wednesday, Professor Anderson said it was too early to speculate on the effect the downturn would have on the sector.
Professor Anthony Wood from the CSIRO’s mining forecasting team said the situation was similar to other parts of the world.
“[It’s] going to be an environment of uncertainty,” he said.”[But] in terms of how the industry responds to it, we’re seeing quite a good response.”
Topics:mining-industry,mining-rural,business-economics-and-finance,gold,australiaFirst posted March 17, 2020 16:29:22Contact Peter DuttonMore stories from Western Australia