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Planned investment in Australia's mining sector soars

Posted: 26 May 2011

The combined capital expenditure of Australia's advanced minerals and energy projects was a record $173.5 billion in April 2011, 31 per cent higher than in October 2010, according to Minerals and energy: major development projects – April 2011 listing, released by ABARES.

"The significant increase in planned capital expenditure reflects the mining industry’s confidence in the medium and long-term outlook for Australia’s mineral and energy commodities," ABARES acting Deputy Executive Director Terry Sheales said.

The $173.5 billion estimated capital expenditure represents 94 projects at an advanced stage of development (committed or under construction) and includes 35 energy projects, 35 mineral mining projects, 20 infrastructure projects and four minerals and energy processing projects.

"Commodities attracting the most investment are oil and gas, iron ore and coal and associated infrastructure, which collectively account for around 92 per cent of all committed capital expenditure," Dr Sheales said.
"These are the sectors in which significant export growth is likely to occur."

Major additions to the advanced list include the $US16 billion Gladstone liquefied natural gas project that is being jointly developed by Santos, Petronas, Total and Kogas, and a number of large iron ore and coal projects, including investments by BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto.

Western Australia accounts for 63 per cent of advanced capital expenditure, reflecting the significant oil, gas and iron ore developments in the state.

Queensland accounts for a further 28 per cent supported mainly by the development of LNG facilities using coal seam gas as a feedstock, and coal mines and associated infrastructure.

A further 305 projects are covered in the list, which are at various stages of planning prior to a final investment decision.

Among these are 15 proposed LNG projects, which could collectively add up to 85 million tonnes to Australia’s LNG capacity in the longer term.

The report Minerals and energy: major development projects – April 2011 listing can be found at




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