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What is concerning mining and metals industry executives today?

Recent surveys conducted in the mining and metals industry sector indicate that climate change, price volatility and the risk of a global depression are the top concerns for executives.

The KMPG Mining Risk Forecast 2020/21 Report nominates climate change and price risks as top-of-mind for executives while a mid-year survey by White & Case found that the fear of a global recession was the most common concern amongst those surveyed. It’s worth noting that the KMPG survey was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the concerns raised have ongoing relevance both now and into the future.

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Implications of the Interim report on Commonwealth environmental protection laws

Professor Graeme Samuel recently released his Interim Report of the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). The report is highly critical of the EPBC Act, reporting that it neither ensures effective environmental and biodiversity protections nor efficiently regulates business.


In the report, Professor Samuel makes several recommendations, some of which have already become priority areas for the government. These have significant implications for the energy and resources industry. 

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How COVID-19 could change mining for the better

The mining industry was deemed an essential service by the Government, which has enabled it to continue to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this hasn’t been without its challenges. New processes and procedures were required to address safety and social distancing and issues of supply and worker mobility have impacted how the industry operates. But with adversity comes opportunity and the mining industry has thrived and realised the potential for new improvements amidst the pandemic.

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How foreign investment changes may impact the mining and energy sector

In early June 2020, the government announced a review of the foreign investment rules, expanding them to apply to all foreign investors in anything deemed a ‘sensitive national security business’. The changes are scheduled to come into effect on 1 January 2021.

There are concerns that this will impact foreign investment in the mining and energy sectors, and in particular the critical minerals space. 

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How your organisation can benefit from government incentives now

Eager to support business and protect jobs, governments at all levels have introduced measures and benefits for businesses. While there are many general benefits, like JobKeeper, that have been offered to many businesses, state governments are now offering opportunities to benefit specific industries and sectors including energy and resources. 

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Why hydrogen is becoming an important energy source

Hydrogen as an energy source continues to grow in popularity. Once confined to industrial processes such as refining crude oil, it is now being recognised as a potential solution to the problems of electricity generation, transportation and storage.

Over the next thirty years, global energy demand is predicted to grow by at least 30-40%. At the same time, the share of energy generated from fossil fuels has stayed almost static at 81%. While renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind are getting cheaper, they can only be generated on an intermittent basis. To make them commercially practical to use, they must be combined with high-energy batteries and backed with other energy sources.

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Dealing with market volatility in the oil and gas industry

The oil and gas industry is experiencing unprecedented volatility since prices slumped in March following the collapse of the OPEC+ supply pact. In the past week alone oil prices have reached historical lows with West Texas crude reaching approximately -US$40 a barrel in future trades. 

Volatility has been driven by reduced output from Russia quickly followed by lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is impacting economic growth across the world, with the OECD already lowering its global economic growth estimate for 2020 from 2.9% to 2.4%. The longer the outbreak continues, the greater the decline in global growth and the corresponding fall in demand for energy.

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Energy industry and government response to COVID-19

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, government and industry have come together to ensure the community, economy and industry are supported. The Council of Australian Governments Energy Council (COAG Energy Council) has formed the Energy Coordination Mechanism (ECM) which is expected to have a complete plan by the end of April. 

The immediate focus of these efforts has been on four areas