Dec 7, 2012

Boom or bust? The forecast is fine for mining long-term

The death-knell of the mining boom has sounded all year. But the pipeline of investment won't peak until 2014 and Asian demand forecasts are strong. Owen Jacques finds the middle ground between boom and bust.

This is not a boom or a bust; the Australian mining industry is too complicated for that now.

For 10 years, extraordinary Chinese consumption has delivered national growth scarcely imagined in the years before. But with so much said of resources saving this country from economic oblivion, when the big money slowed, fear took its place.

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6 thoughts on “Boom or bust? The forecast is fine for mining long-term

  1. Coaltopia

    … and no Sovereign Wealth Fund in sight.

  2. Scott Grant

    This style of article does annoy me. The author seems to live in a vacuum, where the results of all this rape and pillage do not impinge upon his consciousness.

    Quickly now: tell me what was the most important news story during the last sitting of the Australian Parliament? No. It did not involve Julia Gillard, or indeed anyone in the parliament.

    It was the news that the artic permafrost has begun to melt, one of the direst predictions of climate scientists. Now I am waiting for news that the methane clathrates have begun to melt.

  3. Simon Mansfield

    So a few people made some big bucks. But apart from crunching the added value export economy that took the better part of three decades to build in the wake of tariff reforms under Keating – just what as the mining boom done for Australia.

    The cost of skilled construction labour has soared – the cost building materials has soared – the dollar has soared and all for what – so Gina can lecture the rest of us on how to do a hard day’s work.

    And now we have the ridiculous situation where energy costs in Australia are soaring as we are wedded to global prices. No other OECD nation in the world would have done what we have done the past 10 years.

    The first mining boom was wasted on middle class welfare – and the second mining boom has simply suffocated the rest of Australia’s forex exposed industries. And meanwhile, our current account balance is drowning in red ink and the mining tax raises zilch. What an absolute waste of time, money and effort.

  4. Ian


    I agree with you 100% and the same short-sighted policies are set to continue unless we do something about it. The question is what?

  5. Carbon Footprint

    Surely the world will not allow global temperatures to rise by 4-6 degrees at the end of the century? Sooner or later we will decide against self destruction.

    When that happens the world will only want renewable energy surely- so its not going to last forever.

  6. Ian

    Problem is:-

    1.The GHG’s already in the atmosphere will remain there for decades to centuries and the effects of those will continue to worsen even if we stop pumping the stuff into it right now.
    2.It will take a number of years to construct the renewables needed on a scale necessary to replace the energy provided by fossil fuels – and it may not be possible on such a large scale.
    3.There are tipping points which when triggered will set off positive feedbacks that will take the whole thing to another uncontrollable level.
    4.There is citizen and political inertia that look like being entrenched for a long time to come – even as the heat waves and floods hit us.
    5.People and governments in developed countries don’t really care about the billions out there currently starving or becoming victims of wars and conflicts including those which Australia supports. Why should they care if a few more suffer?
    5.Big multinationals don’t really care either.

    And so on…

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