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BHP has released its Recapturing Australia’s Competitiveness report, which outlines the current and future challenges and opportunities for the Australian mining sector.

The report analyses the financial success of Australia’s mining sector during the 2021–22 financial year (FY22), notably how the Australian mining industry generated $218 billion in annual export revenue, which is equal to 37 per cent of Australia’s total goods and services export revenues.

“When the mining industry performs well, Australians benefit economically,” BHP said.

However, the major miner said there are many challenges that lie ahead for the sector.

The report explores the competitiveness of Australia’s resources sector compared to other countries that possess future facing commodities needed for the global energy transition such as copper and nickel – two minerals that BHP is specifically focused on.

“Achieving the temperature aims of the Paris Agreement will require the rapid and widespread deployment of clean energy technologies like renewable energy, nuclear power, battery storage and electric vehicles,” BHP said.

“This transformation will only be possible through the scaling up of mineral production – with estimates suggesting up to 140 new copper mines, 60 new nickel mines, 50 new lithium mines and 17 new cobalt mines will be needed by 2030 alone.

“The capital investment required to unlock this production will be significant – estimated at an additional $US100 billion ($151 billion) per year.”

The major miner said if Australia were to boost its production of critical minerals, it could deliver up to $20 billion of annual investment.

BHP outlined four key pillars Australia needs to meet to achieve this. They are:

  • stable and globally competitive policy, regulatory and fiscal settings
  • robust, transparent and streamlined permitting
  • best-in-class enabling infrastructure
  • a world-class METS sector and workforce of the future.

“To secure our future prosperity, both industry and government must urgently and actively contribute to improving Australia’s mining sector competitiveness,” BHP said.