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He said criticisms levelled at high wages, taxation rates and over regulation and concerns about sovereignty were “plainly wrong”�.
He pointed to the 2013 report titled `Ranking of Countries for Mining Investment`, developed by the Behre Dolbear Group, which named Australia the safest place in the world to invest.
The Minister noted that the Fraser Institute’s `Annual Survey of Mining Companies: 2012/13` also judged Australia as a highly attractive investment destination.
“The reality is a combination of factors influence the decision to invest, and when all of those factors are weighed up, on any objective assessment, Australia remains at the top of the list of attractive investment destinations,”� Gray said.
“Our reputation is unequivocally demonstrated by our significant remaining pipeline of investment.”�
Gray said that 11 committed ‘mega projects’ currently accounted for 80%, or A$212-billion, of total committed project expenditure, adding that in the six months to April, some 21 resource and energy projects, with a combined investment of $15.3-billion, were completed in Australia.
“And while challenging market conditions may have slowed the pace in some cases, I expect to see steady long-term growth for our sectors as we continue to meet the inexorably-growing international demand for commodities,”� he added.
He said the key to surviving weaker commodity prices was for miners to renew their focus on productivity at both mine and business level.
“For many years Australia has been at the forefront of developing techniques and practices that have enabled previously uneconomic resources to be profitably extracted.
China, India Still Investing
China has confirmed its lasting need for new base metal supplies by providing Chinese-controlled MMG with a $US1 billion ($1.07bn) debt facility to support its $US1.5bn zinc, lead and silver mining operations in Queensland.
The facility is being provided by China Development Bank and Bank of China (Sydney) and comes as the rest of the mining industry has been backpedalling from making capital commitments to new metals projects because of the recent retreat in prices, itself a response to fears that demand from China — the world’s biggest metals consumer — was tapering off.
The board of Melbourne-based MMG is now in a position to make a final development decision on a go-ahead for Dugald River. The project got a conditional development go-ahead last December and MMG has already spent $390m on preliminary work at the site, 65km northwest of Cloncurry.
The project will require 600 construction workers and will employ 500 people and contractors once in operation.
Indian mining companies Adani, GVK and Coal India (CIL) are all investing in large projects such as the Adani Carmichael mine which will create the opportunity for 1000″�s of new Queensland mining jobs in the future.
ADANI has already applied to the Australian government for an environmental assessment of a proposed 300km rail line (with a capacity to carry 100 million tonnes) from the Queensland Galilee Basin to the Abbot Point Coal Terminal; as it forges forward to develop the Carmichael coal mine.
GVK is another Indian company preparing to develop a huge coal mine in the Galilee Basin. They have acquired 79 percent equity stake each in Alpha Coal and Alpha West Coal Mines and 100% equity stake in Kevin`s Corner Coal Mines.
A recent article highlighted Indian power companies are not happy about the quality of their locally sourced Run of Mine (ROM) coal as well as its thermal coking coal. Earlier last month, the Indian government faced increased opposition from local Indian coal producers, including state-owned COAL INDIA LIMITED (CIL), claiming mining companies would have to take a loss on their books if higher-priced imported coal was to be averaged with domestic production.
Australian Mining Investment Climate `Safest in World`