Mining sector key to recovery from drought, bushfires and COVID-19 in regional NSW
The NSW Government will defer payments and extend due dates to help the resources sector continue to support thousands of jobs, inject billions of dollars into the economy and provide the raw materials needed to power the state during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Resources John Barilaro said with agriculture, retail and tourism being hit hard in the regions by COVID-19, bushfires and drought, the royalties, jobs and business opportunities delivered by the mining sector are more important than ever.
“The NSW mining sector is on track to deliver an expected $1.6 billion in royalities to this state this financial year, and with the current challenges caused by COVID-19, this injection into the state’s finances is vital,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Despite the virus we have so far managed to progress mining activities with limited disruption and it is important we take steps to ensure that continues.
“We are relying on the mining industry to help lead us through to the other side of the COVID-19 crisis, which is why we are deferring payments for Exploration Licences and Assessment Lease Applications for six months and extending commencment dates for new licences.
“By extending payment periods for Exploration Licence Applications, we’re giving explorers the additional time they need to secure funding at a time where necessary social distancing and other restrictions are changing work practices.
“We’ve also just announced $2.2 million in drilling grants for explorers looking for new deposits of gold, copper and high-tech minerals like cobalt and platinum in regional NSW.”
Mining in NSW currently provides jobs for around 28,600 people directly and nearly 114,000 people indirectly, and delivers royalties that pay for critical community infrastructure and services like roads, schools and hospitals.
“Coal mining is NSW’s largest export earner and also underpins the state’s energy needs, meeting around 80 per cent of NSW's supply requirements and ensuring all residents have access to secure and reliable energy as they reimagine or rebuild their lives and business,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We are looking at new ways to reduce red tape and better support the industry so they can get on with the job of protecting the health and livelihoods of their employees and regional communities,” Mr Barilaro said.
There are currently more than 40 major new mining projects being progressed in the state’s planning and approval system, representing a potential capital investment of around $21 billion and with the potential to directly create around 8,700 new jobs, the majority of which are in regional areas.