Mining boom not over yet, minerals group says

The mining boom will not be over in two years, West Australian Chamber of Minerals and Energy chief Reg Howard-Smith says, despite predictions.

His comments come after Deloitte Access Economics' report yesterday which stated that the current boom will only last another two years.

Deloitte said the amount of mining projects slated for development had slowed down.

"The strong bit of Australia's two-speed economy won't stay strong for more than another two years or so," it said.

The economic forecaster also said the current projects in development were the result of previous plans and beyond these developments there was little on the horizon.

"Mining companies are making it clear the current spike in investment is due to decisions taken a while back, whereas we are getting few new mining mega-projects across the line," it said.

However Howard-Smith stated that the boom still has "got a long way to go", according to the Daily Telegraph.

He rejected the report's findings, saying that "there are expansions currently under construction and significant new oil and gas projects and mineral projects which haven’t started producing, so the full economic benefits are yet to be felt".

He went on to label the government's many policies as a hindrance to continued growth in the sector, saying that there needs to be a focus on policies that encourage foreign investment.

"There are concerns that Australia is becoming a less attractive place to develop projects and investment may be driven to other regions because of additional layers of taxation through the Minerals Resource Rent Tax and the Carbon Tax, coupled with rising costs for doing business and an inability to source skilled labour,” he said.

Last week resources minister Martin Ferguson said the era of high commodity prices was already behind us and to stay strong Australia needed to be more productive and develop new technology.

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