Mining now Tasmania’s major employer

 

Following two years of significant growth, the mining industry is now Tasmania’s largest employer.

And mining earns about $1.7 billion, a figure which equates to over half the state’s exports.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that direct employment in mining has increased by more than 2000 jobs in the past two years. Currently 5500 Tasmanians work in the sector.

"This represents a 67 per cent increase in jobs growth over the past two years and of the 5500 jobs 96 per cent are full-time jobs," Deputy Premier Bryan Green told The Mercury.

"New mines have been approved and there is growing interest from mining companies in investing in Tasmania," he said.

He added that mineral exploration over the last past six years had increased by more than 100 per cent.

Tasmanian Minerals Council executive director Terry Long told the Mercury that the industry was strong across the board and that in recent times already established mines have undertaken exploration on their sites to expand the resource they have got into the future.

"Companies such as Grange Resources at Savage River and MMG at Rosebery have extended their mine life out into decades rather than the industry average of three to five years," he said.

New mining projects on the horizon include Shree Minerals' iron ore project near Balfour and Venture Minerals' Riley Creek iron ore mine west of Tullah.

Green pointed out that Tasmania earned over $50 million in mining royalties last financial year. This figure is 10 times higher than the royalty figures of a decade ago.

This Tasmanian result comes at a time when the mining sector is creating fewer jobs in other states.

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