Confidence grows in Tasmania as mining royalties spike

Mining in Tasmania continues to bounce back from the global downturn in commodity prices.

In the 2017 financial year, $39.4 million in mining royalties were collected in the state, a significant increase on the $15 million received in 2015-16, according to the Tasmanian Government.

With mining being a major contributor to state revenue and accounting for around 50 per cent of the value of its exports, the government is elated with the improvement in market conditions.

Tasmanian minister for resources Guy Barnett said the industry was rebounding strongly from low global commodity prices.

“A raft of good news for the industry recently includes last week’s sale of the Avebury nickel mine, the granting of a mining lease to Stellar Resources for its Heemskirk tin project, and the reopening of the Henty gold mine,” Barnett said.

“We have also seen the beginning of work on a number of projects at the Mt Lyell mine funded through a $9.5 million investment by the government aimed at helping to bring forward its potential restart.”

Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council (TMEC) chief executive Wayne Bould signalled earlier this year that the state’s industry was starting to see positives from key mining developments.

“Those (which invested) are actually starting to realise both production and economic benefit which is starting to flow through to the government in terms of state royalties and certainly for the businesses themselves as they progress,” Bould told Australian Mining.

“No miracle has occurred – it is just the result of some good business decisions.”

Bould said there was a growing awareness of how technology could be applied to manage and analyse performance at Tasmanian mines, as well as the opportunities that exist to use new methods to efficiently link the state to world markets.

To support the industry’s technology aspirations, the Tasmanian Government launched the $1 million Mining Sector Innovation Program in May.

Funded in the state’s budget, the program aims to help keep Tasmanian mining at the cutting edge of innovation and best practice.

The program will support innovation-focused projects in partnership with the TMEC and the University of Tasmania’s Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits.

Tasmania also has the $1.4 million Geoscience Initiative Program, which was introduced last year to improve the state’s capability to attract exploration investment through new geoscience data and mapping.