Mining & Resources

South Australia rides the resources wave and achieves record highs

Informa’s 8th Annual Mining South Australia conference took place in Whyalla last month, kicking off with a morning of comprehensive updates on developments and opportunities for the region’s mineral and petroleum industry. Despite current market conditions challenging Australia’s resource industry, South Australia’s resource industry had a positive tale to tell.

Dr. Paul Heithersay of the Department of State Development spoke of “a year of record highs” for the South Australia’s resource sector in 2013-14, notably a record year for production ($7.5 billion) and exploration expenditure at $647.6 million.

Over the two days, delegates heard industry perspectives from executives representing the region’s industry from mining and unconventional gas operations and exploration, infrastructure, transport and procurement.

“Community is as important as the economics”
This was the message from Greg Hall, CEO and Managing Director of Hillgrove Resources, who spoke about the businesses refocussed efforts from 2013. Some of the successful initiatives implemented for the Kanmantoo mine included a working group to tackle dust issues and a private site access road that was constructed to reroute trucks away from public areas.

A renewed interest in Graphite
During a week when Australia’s only operating graphite mine planned for re-opening in South Australia’s Lower Eyre Peninsula, it was fitting that delegates heard from Valence Industries’ General Manager of Technical Delivery, Karen Lloyd. The Uley Mine “will employ its workforce locally and plans to train staff across all operational aspects” explained Lloyd, in order to achieve the CEO’s vision for “a vertically integrated operation that will bring manufacturing to the Eyre Peninsula”.

What is Graphite?
Breakaway Resources’ Mark Gordon explained all, including a review of the graphite market, a look at the supply and demand dynamics and outlook for future demand drivers for Australia’s new mineral on the block.

Lincoln Minerals and Archer Exploration were also represented the companies offering updates on graphite projects and exploration activities in South Australia.

With the petroleum sector accounting for a whopping $531.3m of exploration expenditure in 2013-14, there was a keen interest to hear from the region’s unconventional oil and gas players on the morning of day two. Nathan Childs, General Manager – Upstream SA, kicked off with an update from Santos, which concluded with potential initiatives that could assist the streamlining of onshore oil and gas business in the region.

Thank you to all those that attended the event and we hope to see you in Whyalla next year!

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