A new report from BIS Shrapnel has predicted that the mining sector’s share of the Australian national economy will continue to grow strongly despite a 40% slump in investment over the next four years.
Mining investments peaked in the year up to last July, with a value of $93.1bn, but this is predicted to drop off significantly.
Meanwhile, mining production is expected to surge by one third in the same period, driving a corresponding increase in mining operations activities, maintenance and exports.
Miners and associated services in the industry are facing challenges due to low prices, the high Australian dollar, and weak growth in export demand and high costs, the report revealed.
BIS Shrapnel said the sustained downturn in investment in the coming years will create strong headwinds for the Australian economy, presenting problems for the federal and state governments.
BIS Shrapnel infrastructure and mining unit senior manager Adrian Hart said: “In terms of the mining investment bust, we have hardly begun, this has a long way to run.
“While investment has already fallen sharply across coal, iron ore and other commodities, it was the boom in gas which drove the peak in investment in 2013 to 2014.
“Indeed, without oil and gas, mining investment would have fallen 25% in the last financial year. However, the completion of a range of large gas projects on the east and west coasts will be the key driver of the long slump in investment from here.”
The report said the value of mining production increased by 9.4% to $164bn between 2013 and 2014.
By 2018 to 2019, mining output is expected to increase to $219bn, around 33% higher than 2013 to 2014 levels, supported by the completion and operation of the major LNG projects.