A new report forecasts huge growth in South Australia's resources sector over the next two decades despite the end of the China-backed mining boom which dominated last decade.
According to a new report by the Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance (RESA), despite endemic talk since last year of the mining boom’s demise, companies with an eye on the long-term still anticipate strong growth in South Australia’s resources sector over the next two decades, with 40 mining and infrastructure projects now waiting in the wings.
Phil de Courcey, chief executive of RESA , is highly optimistic about the long-term prospects for South Australia’s mining sector, pointing out that prosperity will not be confined to any one segment of the industry.
“There is no doubt that South Australia can look forward to a strong growth of mining-based employment across the three spheres of supply chain companies, developing mines, and operational mines,” de Courecy said in an official statement.
The ensuing surge in employment demand could place a major strain on South Australia’s human resources however, with RESA anticipating that the state’s mining sector will need a further 35,000 employees by 2030 to service the 40 projects still in the pipeline, on top of the 15,000 currently employed across 20 projects.
“It is important to appreciate that this estimate is more than double the number in South Australia’s resources sector at present,” de Courcey said.
“It poses a serious challenge of where the state sources these employees and whether we can access the right talent pool in sufficient numbers to meet this rapid growth in workforce demand for advanced mining projects.”
RESA sees a pressing shortage of workers in a number of areas by as early as 2018, including crusher and dragline operators, exploration drillers, laboratory assistants, underground and open-cut miners, and mobile plant and process plant operators.
According to the report demand for workers will be concentrated at either geographic end of the state, in South Australia’s north as well as the Eyre Peninsula.
Population centres set to enjoy increased employment as result of sustained growth in South Australia’s mining sector include Leigh Creek, Roxby Downs, Coober Pedy, Port Lincoln, Ceduna and Tumby Bay.