Record Queensland mineral exports an economic ‘buffer’ for coronavirus

Queensland’s resources sector is set to tackle the coronavirus pandemic with record exports, according to the Queensland Resources Council’s state of the sector December 2019 quarterly report.

The sector has met the coronavirus pandemic with strong financial footing, after the state reported $70 billion in export value last quarter.

Record export numbers are expected provide both the industry and the economy with a “buffer” during the coronavirus situation, according to the Queensland Resources Council.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the survey provides a snapshot of how strong the sector will be during the pandemic, with the opportunity to keep jobs and production afloat.

“A lot has changed since this survey was taken and the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation continues to evolve, but what it does tell us is the resources sector was performing strongly with future employment intentions very strong,” he said.

“The resources sector is taking extraordinary measures to keep their staff, their communities and their state safe.”

With fly-in fly-out (FIFO) travel halted, Macfarlane said the Queensland Resources Council and state government are working together to find a solution.

“In relation to FIFO operations, the Queensland resources sector is working with the state government to implement protocols to assist with the separation of the community and FIFO workers while in transit,” he said

“This will ensure the resources sector can continue to deliver its much needed economic benefits to the economy by producing commodities and employing people,” he said.

The mining industry had the highest full time average weekly earnings in Australia as of November 2019, with workers earning $2616.90 per week ($136,000 per annum).

The state of the sector report also found the adoption of low emissions technology in the sector, with Anglo American partnering with ENGIE to create the world’s largest hydrogen-powered mine haul truck.

Both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk have confirmed mining to be an essential business, allowing the sector to stay in operation under the current restrictions.

 

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