The South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy remains up-beat about the future of the State’s minerals industry, chief executive Jason Kuchel told MINING DAILY.
Last year, MINING DAILY featured Kuchel in the executive outlook series which discussed potential implications for the minerals industry in the year ahead.
While Kuchel wouldn’t predict whether or not Australia had seen the worst of the crisis, he did say that there was still a mass of opportunities for miners.
“It is important that miners and investors alike do not take their eye off the fundamentals,” Kuchel said.
“The fact remains that there is still very strong demand from the emerging BRIC economies and this will continue to grow over the next two to three decades.”
BHP Billiton has said it remains committed to the expansion project at the State’s Olympic Dam mine, despite cutting 200 jobs recently.
Premier Mike Rann said that while the miner had been forced to ‘cut cloth’ due to the global financial crisis, the future of the mine remained positive.
“The good news for South Australia is that production targets at Olympic Dam are unchanged and the planning continues for the expansion of what will be the world’s largest open cut mine,” Rann said.
“Formal indenture negotiations between the SA Government and BHP Billiton begin next month, on schedule.
“Both the company and the Government remain committed to ensuring that the process for the environmental approvals will proceed as planned.”
Rann said he expects the Environmental Arial Statement on the expansion of Olympic Dam to be available for 40 business days of public comment from May.