Michael Stanton, of Eimeo, and sons, Jack and Charlie, check out the heavy equipment on display at QME.
Michael Stanton, of Eimeo, and sons, Jack and Charlie, check out the heavy equipment on display at QME. Peter Holt

Mining boss points to opportunities

SOME distance away from the white tent city of QME at Mackay showgrounds, government representatives and mining professionals were getting down to the serious business of analysing the mining industry's future.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche (above) got the ball rolling with a keynote address, which highlighted the massive opportunities as well as the challenges that lie ahead, at the two-day QME Mining Industry Conference at the MECC.

"By any measure, the 10-year outlook for Queensland's minerals and energy sector is huge," Mr Roche said.

He referred to the resource council's Growth Outlook Study, released in November last year, which revealed 66 major resource sector projects either under study, committed or under construction. In total they represent capital expenditure over the next eight years of $142 billion.

"If they all proceed they would see the annual value of the resources sector in Queensland rising by $100 billion a year," Mr Roche said.

But he said rising costs and lower commodity prices posed a threat to competitiveness.

"Today more than twice as much capital is required to build one tonne of new capacity than... five years ago," he said.

Other concerns noted were higher taxes, unnecessary and poorly-designed regulation, declining productivity and increasing labour, energy and transport costs. The QME conference continues today with human resources and mine site operations on the agenda.


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