Mining jobs to trickle down

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Productivity in the Australian mining industry is at its highest since 2012 but local jobs won’t see an increase for at least six months, according to the local chamber of commerce.

In its December quarterly report, the Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety showed the number of mineral exploration program of work applications had climbed 40 per cent in 2017.

In 2016 only 1799 applications were received by the department compared with 2575 in 2017, the highest since 2565 were received in 2012.

Despite the increase in work applications, Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce secretary Arnold Carter said locals should not expect to see an increase in employment for at least another six months. “There’s certainly an increase in productivity but I haven’t seen any sign of an increase in employment,” he said.

“I think it will gradually pick up though, the more that they increase the productivity — I believe (employment) will pick up on a gradual basis. My prophecy is that in six months time (Port Hedland) will be at full employment capacity.”

Association of Mining and Exploration Companies chief executive Warren Pearce said the results of the report were similar to statistics seen in other government departments.

“(The department’s) announcement reinforces a mounting body of evidence that the West Australian mining and mineral exploration industry is growing and confidence is returning,” he said.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA chief executive Deidre Willmott said the survey revealed confidence in the economy was also rising.

“The jump in activity has been linked to increased interest in gold and lithium, driven by WA industry’s swift response to favourable commodity prices,” she said.

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