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Australia’s mining industry supporting the economy through COVID-19

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Data released by the ABS has confirmed the importance of keeping Australia’s mining industry operating during the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic challenges.

According to the ABS a significant increase in Australia’s resources export revenue has underpinned an increase in the value of goods exports by 29 per cent to $36.1 billion in March 2020.

This has included growth in Australia’s iron ore exports to support China’s rebounding economy as well as increases in the value of Australia’s gold, coal and petroleum exports.

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Australia’s mining industry has been able to deliver this result for the nation while implementing strict and comprehensive health and safety protocols to protect workers, families and local communities.

Keeping mining open for business during this challenging time not only protects 1.1 million jobs – it enables the industry to keep paying taxes and royalties which help fund government assistance programs for workers and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Approximately half of the Australian businesses surveyed by the ABS (49%) had experienced an adverse impact as a result of COVID-19 during the mid-March data collection period and 86% of businesses expected to be impacted in future months. The collection period pre-dated the Australian Government’s announcement of Phase 1 Social Distancing Measures.

Adverse impacts were most prevalent in Accommodation & food services with over three quarters of businesses (78%) already reporting impacts and 96% of businesses reporting that they expected impacts in coming months.

Businesses in Professional, scientific & technical services (21%), Electricity, gas and water supply (34%) and businesses in Mining (37%) were the least likely to have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 in the collection period.

ABS March 2020

A reduction in local demand was the most common impact experienced (82%) and was also the most common impact expected in coming months (81%). Of impacted businesses, over a third had experienced staff shortages (36%) and 59% expected to experience staff shortages in coming months.

The above information is a Statement from Tania Constable, Chief Executive Officer, Minerals Council of Australia

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AMSJ April 2022