The mining boom that has been occurring since 2003 is considered Australia’s largest mining expansion since the Victorian Gold Rush of the mid-1800s.
The boom – centred largely around iron ore, LNG, metallurgical and thermal coal, and lithium – is responsible for increasing employment levels, wages and household disposable income Australia-wide. It has also created better exchange rates and helped us avoid the worst of the global financial crisis.
Commonly considered to have ended between 2013 and 2015, when 46,000 full-time jobs were cut, other experts say that the mining boom is far from over. Some believe any downturns were simply an indication of the boom moving into a new phase and that there is much life left in the industry. We are currently in the third phase of the mining boom – the first phase being prices, the second investment, and the third export or production.
For example, one expert from the Reserve Bank of Australia suggests the boom will continue for another 30 years, particularly in its current export phase.
Signs that the mining boom is continuing strongly
One of the first announcements of 2019 that indicated the mining boom is far from over was that of lithium mining companies in the Pilbara region. With plans for millions of dollars of investments into expansion, and more jobs being created, this is a strong indication of further growth in the years to come.
Eyes are also firmly on the Perth housing market, which shows a direct correlation between the mining boom and increased house prices. With prices sliding over the past four years, the Australian Financial Review predicts this year will see prices stabilise as the resources industry booms into the future.
Over in Queensland, several mining companies have been given the green light to explore parts of the state for resources. This includes following leads towards the finding of zinc, lead, copper and silver north of Mount Isa, and a search for coal, gas and minerals is taking place near existing mining regions.
There has also been a $75 billion investment into iron ore mining, the gas industry has announced expansions, and more money is being thrown into LNG and gold. This will result in the creation of thousands more jobs located in Western Australia.
And the positive signs don’t end there. Another indicator of a boom – or the continuation of the existing mining boom – is stock prices. Many experts are putting much faith into mining’s rising stocks, including some producers of gold and precious metals, as well as graphite and lithium.
There are many positive signs that the calls marking the end of the mining boom have been incorrect. The mining industry, it seems, is set to go from strength to strength in the coming years.