QUEENSLAND’S runaway mining investment boom “had years to run” and speculation about its death was greatly exaggerated, according to two of the country’s major forecasters.
In Brisbane yesterday, BIS Shrapnel analysts said they expected, as the mining investment boom does wind back (with some caveats) – that increasing investment across other resource sectors would plug the gap.
Equally the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association indicated that the accelerating Queensland coal seam gas (CSG) industry was showing little indication of slowing, in spite of continued speculation in the industry.
APPEA CEO David Byers said an extra 7000 resource workers had been employed in the Queensland gas industry in the first half of 2012 lifting the current workforce figures to more than 18,500.
CSG to LNG projects worth almost $50 billion are progressing in Queensland (Bechtel.com), creating thousands of resource sector jobs and breathing new life into rural and regional communities,” Mr Byers said.
BIS chief economist Frank Gelber in Brisbane yesterday said the mining investment boom – as opposed to the price boom – had two years to run in Australia and “three years in Queensland.”
Committed resource sector projects, in particular Queensland’s coal seam gas-to-liquefied natural gas projects, would ensure longevity for the industry.
After that there was a list of other resources projects, though by no means all that were on the drawing board before the recent slide in commodity prices, that would still go ahead provided prices did not suffer a further slide.
Resource companies still had 42 per cent profit margins in the year to June, against 47 per cent at the height of the price boom.
Frank Gelber also went on to say, “There is an expected “soft landing” forecast as the avalanche of resource investment, which includes almost $60 billion in CSG-LNG investment in Queensland over the next four or five years, slackened off.”
“The commodity price falls would winkle out some high cost projects, he conceded – with certain coal projects in Queensland being exposed to the fallout, however, some projects always fell by the wayside”.
Queensland GSG to LNG projects forge ahead