The Australian Minister for Resources Madeleine King says Australia has “an unmissable opportunity and a remarkable responsibility” to help lead the global transition to a decarbonised future.
Addressing the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Sydney today, Minister King said mining was fundamental to the energy transition. She said Australia’s leadership was critical in helping drive change, while at the same providing the exports, regional investment, jobs, and First Nations employment opportunities that make the sector one of the most important industries in Australia.
“The Australian resources sector and the great value of the exceptional natural endowment of this country dwarfs all other industries,” Minister King said.
“It represents 70% of our exports, 10% of our GDP and around $450 billion in economic activity in this financial year alone. It currently employs a record 285,000 Australians and generates around $43 billion annually in the taxes and royalties that provide the essential services the country needs.
“But this does not all happen by luck. It takes people and their ingenuity and determination and commitment to create the industry that has become the backbone of Australia’s economy.”
Minister King said the Australian energy and resources sector was in a period of major transition, and it was instrumental to global ambitions for a decarbonised economy.
“Net zero cannot be achieved without the resources sector. We will need to mine more minerals, not less. Many of our resources are vital to the clean energy transition and a decarbonised global economy, such as batteries, wind turbines and electric motors.”
“Vast quantities of these minerals will be needed, and Australian production will be required to meet the ambition of the global goal of decarbonising our economies.”
“Australia boasts some of the richest deposits of critical minerals reserves in the world. This presents us with an unmissable opportunity, but also a remarkable responsibility.”
“We must bring forward a new wave of investment in our resources sector and further demonstrate how Australia is not only reducing our emissions at home but is also a crucial player in the global effort to reach net zero emissions.”
Minister King said gas and coal continued to be fundamental to the economy.
“The recent energy crisis highlights the importance of gas and coal not just in our domestic economy but in the economies of our regional neighbours.”
“Our gas and coal play a critical role in meeting global energy demand and providing our neighbours with secure and dependable energy sources.”
Minister King said IMARC was a valuable opportunity to hear and share ideas from mining and resource leaders from around the world and to better communicate its purpose to the wider community.
“A strong resources sector is the foundation for the next generation of jobs and industries. But the industry needs to find way to tell its story better so more Australians will understand the role the sector will have in achieving net zero.”
“The road to net zero emissions runs through the resources sector and the industry needs to ensure this message cuts through, otherwise developing new resources will only get harder and the world as a whole will suffer.”
Minister King is one of the 35 Ministers from around the world who will be attending IMARC concluding on Friday. The premier event has attracted delegates from over 110 countries over the course of the 3-day conference.