More than 120,000 new jobs may be offered for mine projects

DETAILS hidden within a major Federal Government report into mining investment shows more than 120,000 new jobs in the resources sector for Queensland and New South Wales could be on offer within a decade.

The gob-smacking figure includes those needed to build and operate 190 projects including mines, gas developments and infrastructure in the two states.

It also includes jobs needed for projects currently under construction.

The figure is a conservative estimate of labour from the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, assuming every potential and current projects went ahead..

For the two states, BREE's Resources and Energy Major Projects report found total investment would eclipse $270 billion, creating demand for 80,000 workers during construction and another 40,000 once built.

BREE has deemed every Australian project either likely, possible or unlikely, but will not reveal the information due to potential confidentiality issues.

Report author and BREE resource manager John Barber said the figures represented a great opportunity for both states if plans evolved into development.

"If we can convert most of that opportunity, there are significant benefits to both Queensland and New South Wales," he said.

"But these aren't guaranteed benefits.

"There are challenges that we will need to continue addressing."

The three hurdles Mr Barber refers to include the rising cost of construction, productivity issues and poor world market conditions.

The government dossier warned these obstacles were to blame for national mining investment tapering off from this financial year.

From a peak of $268 billion, investment will fall to 2007 levels of $73 billion within five years.In 2007, the industry was enjoying boom times and record-breaking investment - just not to the level experienced since.

BREE's report revealed $150 billion in slated projects were wiped from the table in the past 12 months through delays and cancellations.

Xstrata-Glencore's $6 billion Wandoan coal mine slowing down and the Queensland Government's dumping of an $11 billion expansion of Central Queensland's Abbot Point coal terminal were each included on the list.

Mr Barber said the death of the mining boom was exaggerated - this was now its evolution.

"The boom is progressing," he said.

"We're turning that (earlier) investment into projects that will deliver economic benefits such as jobs and revenue to the Australian economy for years to come."


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