Hall of Fame hon­our long over­due

COM­MENT

Kalgoorlie Miner - - MINE TALK - War­ren Pearce War­ren Pearce is the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Min­ing and Ex­plo­ration Com­pa­nies.

This evening AMEC mem­bers will come to­gether to recog­nise the achieve­ments of our mem­bers and in­dus­try over the past year.

One of these is the ex­clu­sive prospec­tor award.

The AMEC prospec­tor award sets a high bar to en­cour­age ex­plo­ration, and is in­tended to recog­nise an out­stand­ing min­eral ex­plo­ration dis­cov­ery made in Aus­tralia, favour­ing green­field dis­cov­ery and pos­sess­ing strong com­mer­cial po­ten­tial.

The small num­ber of ex­plo­ration pro­jects that re­sult in sig­nif­i­cant finds cou­pled with the long lead time from dis­cov­ery to pro­duc­tion means we need to en­cour­age more in­no­va­tive meth­ods of ex­plo­ration.

Years of statis­tics have shown us there is an un­de­ni­able cor­re­la­tion be­tween ex­plo­ration ac­tiv­ity and in­vest­ment and ex­pen­di­ture.

Sim­ply put, the more we in­vest and the more we ex­plore, the greater chance we have of dis­cov­er­ies that will bol­ster the econ­omy.

While the lag be­tween dis­cov­ery and pro­duc­tion is an av­er­age of 13 years, there is also a sub­stan­tial lag dur­ing the ex­plo­ration phase it­self. It can take many years for a project to prove its re­source.

The his­tory of our prospec­tor award re­flects this lag. Last year the award was not pre­sented, and while this was dis­ap­point­ing, it was not the first time.

In 2005 and 2006 the award was not given, and at the time many in our in­dus­try were dis­heart­ened.

But the record min­ing boom that fol­lowed showed us the lack of an award was no in­di­ca­tion the in­dus­try was wan­ing.

Dur­ing this time, ex­plo­ration ex­pen­di­ture and ac­tiv­ity in­creased sub­stan­tially, re­sult­ing in one of the most pros­per­ous pe­ri­ods for our coun­try.

In fact we know the min­ing re­cov­ery is well un­der way. The statis­tics, the an­nounce­ments, and com­mit­ment from in­dus­try are all trend­ing in the right di­rec­tion.

The Aus­tralian Bu­reau of Statis­tics re­leased the fig­ures for the last quar­ter ear­lier this week, and the me­tres drilled over the last quar­ter in­creased by 6 per cent na­tion­ally.

This is pos­i­tive news for the sec­tor and the Aus­tralian econ­omy.

With­out new dis­cov­er­ies, Aus­tralia’s cur­rent pro­duc­tion lev­els will be­gin to de­crease.

New dis­cov­er­ies and new mines are needed to sus­tain cur­rent pro­duc­tion lev­els at the least.

Tonight An­drew For­rest will also be in­ducted into the Min­ing Hall of Fame. An ac­knowl­edge­ment of this type for his con­tri­bu­tion to the in­dus­try is well over­due.

AMEC mem­bers will not only be cel­e­brat­ing the other achieve­ments of the in­dus­try, but it will also be cel­e­brat­ing the very pos­i­tive and ex­cit­ing times ahead.

Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages

Min­ing en­tre­pre­neur and phi­lan­thropist An­drew For­rest will be in­ducted into the Min­ing Hall of Fame tonight.

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