Experienced players prepare for mining upswing

Research from Business News found that five significant 'greenfields' mining projected, worth $760 million, have started development in the past year. 

Looking ahead to 2017, there might be only one major new mining project although there have been no guarantees. 

In Deloitte Access Economics' latest investment monitor, the value of definite projects (under construction or committed) across Australia fell to its lowest level in four years. This resulted in engineering activity contracting in nine of the past 10 quarters.

Industry veterans who have lived through multiple cycles are not worried, however. Instead, they are laying the groundwork for the next wave of mining projects that will commence when commodity prices and financial markets improve.

The two mega projects still under construction include CITIC Pacific Mining's Sino Iron project, and Hancock Prospecting's Roy Hill development.

Roy Hill is on the brink of celebrating its first shipment, while Citic has reported good progress on commissioning and construction activity.

The next greenfields project in iron ore is likely to be Rio Tinto's Silvergrass mine, expected to cost about $1 billion -resulting in the iron ore majors spending millions each year on sustaining capital expenditure. 

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