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Australia's Mining Boom Over?

Australian officials are sparring over the status of the country’s mining industry, with Resources Minister Martin Ferguson telling the media that the nation’s mining boom is officially over with the news that BHP Billiton Ltd. has delayed approval of its Olympic Dam expansion that Deutsche Bank AG estimated at A$33 billion ($34.7 billion).

“You’ve got to understand, the resources boom is over,” Ferguson told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio yesterday. “It has got tougher in the last six to 12 months.”

BHP is the world’s largest mining company, and its announcement earlier this week that it would not likely approve any spending on major projects this fiscal year due to a decline in metal prices is bad news for Australia, whose economy has soared with major investment projects in iron ore, coal and natural gas.

With general elections due next year, BHP’s announcement will hit Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s government hard, making it nearly impossible to balance the country’s deficit and bring the budget into a surplus status by the stated goal of mid-next year.

The key opposition Liberal National coalition will benefit most from the so-called end of the mining boom. 

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com


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  • Div on August 28 2012 said:
    Its also partly because of delays and cost blowouts thanks to the state & federal government, oh and also the greens. Nowhere else in the world is a golden goose so unwelcomed then in Australia.
  • Witold Bialkowski on August 27 2012 said:
    Well, these things are cyclical. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has studied history that these things do come to an end every 10-20 years. China was the main factor, again not a surprise with over 1.3 billion people & growing aggressively, however all good things come to an end. As far as I am concerned the questions are: Will India & Africa make up for lower/negative Chinese economic growth? If not, will Australia gradually privatise health care in order to balance its national budget over the next 3.5 decades?
  • Bob Berke on August 27 2012 said:
    BHP announced this weekend (8/27), that it would sell its uranium mines, estimated to be the largest in the world, to Cameco for $430 million, another ominous sign of the mining peak.

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