The Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy (The AusIMM) represents mining professionals working in the global mineral industry on global, national and local issues that affect them and their communities.
According to the organisation, Australia must increase its global share of minerals exploration funding if the mining industry is to continue to support jobs and growth in local communities and across the economy.
The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (The AusIMM) says both major political parties must commit to support for minerals exploration, or Australia will lose its position as a major minerals-based economy.
In 1996, minerals exploration in Australia accounted for 20 per cent of the total global exploration programs for non-ferrous metals. By 2010, that has slipped to 13 per cent.
The AusIMM represents 10,000 professionals working in the minerals industry. Chief Executive Michael Catchpole said the ongoing debate over the mining tax had obscured one of the real issues facing the mining industry, governments and communities.
“Unless we provide support for exploration and build up our minerals inventory, we will lose ground to other minerals-rich nations,” Mr Catchpole said.
“The wealth that flows from the mining industry to governments, companies and communities is not guaranteed forever. It is dependent on finding new resources to sustain our industry and our economy.”
He said the Coalition’s election promise of $150 million to support minerals exploration echoed the promise by the Labour Party in the lead-up to the 2007 election to encourage small exploration companies uncover new resources in Australia.
“The Coalition promise is similar to that made by Labour in 2007, providing investment incentives for small companies who shoulder the burden of high-risk exploration for new minerals deposits.
“The Government’s mining tax in its earlier form also offered exploration rebates, but that program was lost in the hastily-constructed mining tax mark two. Labour must commit to its original exploration incentives scheme if it’s to at least match the policy put forward in recent days by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.”