The New South Wales Minerals Council has assessed the economic growth potential of the state’s mining projects pipeline, with 32 projects underway between impact statement and final approval.
The research found a record number of metals projects in the state’s planning pipeline, increasing from 11 in 2020 up to 13 in 2021.
Eight of these were for new mines focused on gold, silver, nickel, cobalt and scandium
NSW Minerals Council chief executive officer Stephen Galilee said the 32 projects had great economic potential.
“These projects have the potential to deliver almost $13 billion in investment and over 17,500 jobs for NSW to help support and rebuild the economy, and boost regional development across the state,” Galilee said.
He added it was promising to see a rise in future-focused materials, as the clean energy transition made its mark on the state’s mining sector.
“There is growing demand for our high-quality metals and rare earths. Technological advances in industries such as telecommunications, medicine, defense, renewables, and energy storage are driving demand for critical metals and minerals,” Galilee said.
Coal continued to be the state’s most valuable export, bringing in around $16 billion worth of exports in 2021, plus royalties for the government.
The state’s top three coal customers continued to be Japan, Korea and Taiwan, while India, Vietnam and the Philippines began to emerge.
The number of coal projects in the state decreased from 21 down to 19 in 2021, including the refusal of the Dendrobium project expansion by the NSW Independent Planning Commission.
The economic benefit was spread across the state too, with $3.6 billion in capital investment in the Hunter region, $1 billion for Illawarra, $4 billion for the Central West and $150 million for the Lithgow/Mudgee region.
“Overall, these 32 project proposals demonstrate how the NSW mining sector can deliver billions in investment, thousands of jobs and economic growth needed to help rebuild our state economy in the years ahead, and with the right policies in place to support mining we will do so,” Galilee said.