Min­ing ad­vo­cate: pre­pare for growth

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Vic­to­ria’s peak min­ing ad­vo­cacy group has urged Wim­mera com­mu­ni­ties to pre­pare for a po­ten­tial boom in min­ing op­er­a­tions in the next few years.

Min­er­als Coun­cil of Aus­tralia’s Vic­to­ria Di­vi­sion has pre­dicted trans­for­ma­tional so­cio-eco­nomic con­di­tions in the re­gion if min­ing projects ei­ther un­der­way or in plan­ning stages live up to ex­pec­ta­tions.

Vic­to­rian Di­vi­sion ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor James So­ra­han, on tour of western Vic­to­ria, said an area stretch­ing north from Ararat through North­ern Grampians, Hor­sham, Yar­ri­ambi­ack and Bu­loke shires, was on the cusp of be­com­ing a min­ing hot spot.

“The chances are very high for sig­nif­i­cant growth in min­ing op­er­a­tions in the re­gion, with Hor­sham primed to be a min­ing hub,” he said.

“It’s all point­ing to a po­ten­tially bright fu­ture for jobs, business and growth and it is likely to start in the next two to three years.”

The Min­er­als Coun­cil of Aus­tralia is the coun­try’s lead­ing ad­vo­cate for the prof­itabil­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity of Aus­tralia’s min­er­als in­dus­try.

Com­pa­nies re­spon­si­ble for more than 85 per­cent of Aus­tralia’s an­nual min­eral pro­duc­tion are MCA mem­bers.

Mr So­ra­han said he had been busy meet­ing in­dus­try, business and lo­cal gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives dur­ing his re­gional tour.

“My main pur­pose has been to talk with coun­cils about what is on the min­ing hori­zon. Min­ing in Vic­to­ria is a sleep­ing gi­ant, es­pe­cially in min­eral sands, and we want coun­cils and com­mu­ni­ties to be ready early for what hope­fully will be a huge fu­ture in min­ing,” he said.

“This in­cludes look­ing at lo­cal skill needs, jobs in a va­ri­ety of sec­tors, ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties, part­ner­ships and how lo­cals can be skilled up to meet in­dus­try de­mand.

“It in­volves talk­ing about en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts, the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of land and work­ing with agri­cul­ture and tourism to com­ple­ment the re­gional econ­omy.”

Mr So­ra­han said the in­flu­ence of min­ing in re­gional de­vel­op­ment would come down to fac­tors such as in­ter­na­tional com­mod­ity mar­kets, gov­ern­ment poli­cies and the di­rec­tion of com­pa­nies.

“The re­gion is home to one of the largest de­posits of min­eral sand and rare earths, and there is a high prospect for gold and cop­per,” he said.

“The in­dus­try is busy ex­plor­ing the vi­a­bil­ity of the de­posits. If it hap­pens, and chances are that it will, flow-on ben­e­fits will de­pend on many fac­tors.

“We want to work with com­mu­ni­ties, schools, coun­cils, agen­cies and the State Gov­ern­ment to en­sure fu­ture op­por­tu­ni­ties can come to fruition.”

Mr So­ra­han said a boom­ing min­ing sec­tor in the Wim­mera would bring hun­dreds of di­rect and flow-on jobs.

“Min­ing has the high­est paid full­time jobs of any sec­tor. If it pro­ceeds as it ap­pears it might, em­ploy­ees will look at bring­ing in their fam­i­lies and the im­pact of more peo­ple set­tling should have a large flow-on im­pact on the re­gional econ­omy,” he said.

“It is an­other in­dus­try for western Vic­to­ria – com­ing on top of agri­cul­ture and tourism – lead­ing to more di­verse and re­silient re­gional economies.

“Grow­ing pop­u­la­tions mean more roads, schools, ser­vices, air ser­vices and so on.

“It will be a few years be­fore it all hap­pens. But if and when it does, it will be on us be­fore we know it.”

Sev­eral min­ing com­pa­nies are al­ready busy on min­eral-sand and gold projects across the Wim­mera.

Mr So­ra­han said a com­mu­nity min­ing forum would be in Ararat in Novem­ber.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.