CEO sentiment rising in QLD resources sector

Queensland executives are preparing for a bumper growth period in the resources sector despite concerns around skills shortages, according to a Queensland Resources Council (QRC) survey.

The QRC surveys its full member CEOs each quarter for the State of the Sector report, typically receiving 20-35 responses.

The latest edition found that 70 per cent of resources CEOs are feeling much more confident about their company’s growth prospects over the next 12 months.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said this was dependent on Queensland finding the workforce to facilitate such growth.

“Ninety-five per cent agree Queensland’s resources sector has a strong, long-term future and 35 per cent say they’re likely to increase employment at their operations over the next 12 months,” he said.

“No CEOs expect to be cutting jobs.”

While growth expectations were almost universal, the respondents plans on how to achieve it were varied.

Half were considering organic growth through exploration, development and capital investments, while 15 per cent were targeting higher productivity from current assets, and another 15 per cent saw mergers and acquisitions as the way to go.

One anonymous respondent was quoted in the report as saying smaller companies would find the coming year much harder than most.

“It is becoming harder and harder for small, early stage companies to survive,” they said.

“The larger organisations have more options and are better placed to leverage commodity price surges but explorers have few options.”

And prices sure have risen.

Metallurgical coal, thermal coal, liquified natural gas (LNG), copper and aluminium have all experienced record or long-term record prices in the past six months, account for a majority of the state’s resources exports.

Macfarlane said this bolstered the state’s resources sector’s prospects for investment over the coming years.

“Resources royalties generated this financial year in Queensland are expected to reach around $6 billion, which is double the amount paid last year and demonstrates why the resources sector is so important to our economy and to jobs,” he said.

“These royalties are part of our sector’s overall $84.3 billion contribution to the state economy last financial year, which is helping enormously with Queensland’s economic recovery from Covid.”

Read the State of the Sector report here to find out more about CEO sentiment in Queensland.

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