The state of Western Australia (WA) thrives on being a global hub for energy and mining innovation. WA is the most diversified mining and energy province in the world and the largest producer of iron ore. The resources sector in this state is so prominent that it represents 1/3 of WA’s Gross State Product (GSP). Along with innovation initiatives and future development plans to increase WA’s competitiveness, this sector is expected to grow and strengthen even further.
Global strength in energy and mining
WA produces over 40 types of minerals from tungsten to titanium, gold, and nickel. In fact, mineral and petroleum exports account for 90% of the state’s total exports. Homes, phones, robots, satellites, and airplanes around the world are made with WA minerals.
WA’s resource sector ecosystem has long developed since the formation of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) in 1901. Today, the CME employs 80% of the sector’s workforce. Six of the top international energy companies have also recognized the state’s talent and resource abundance by developing their bases in WA.
Energy and mining innovation
Innovation leads to increased competitiveness, stimulating economic growth, and higher living standards. There are many organizations and initiatives in place to develop the energy and mining sector in WA as a world-leader.
To drive innovation, the CME and the Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction created an innovation hub to explore new technologies. This hub focuses on the use of technology for the extraction and processing of minerals and metals. Technology innovation is expected to add more value and reduce the environmental impact of WA’s resource sector. Their goal is to create “highest quality products at the lowest cost with minimal environmental impact”.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industry Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Western Australian Government, and Curtin University partnered to form the Australian Resources Research Centre (ARRC). This research center brings together industry, universities, government, and the community to drive innovation regarding petroleum and mineral extraction.
Energy and mining innovation mainly focuses on the use of drones, automation, the internet of things, artificial intelligence, and renewable energy. With new technology comes both opportunities and challenges, as gradually more resource sector jobs are being replaced by automation.
According to KPMG’s report on the energy and mineral sector in WA for the period 2018-2028, there are serval challenges and opportunities to consider.
Over this period, total energy consumption is expected to increase by 2.4%. Alternative renewable energy sources play a key role in this growth and present future opportunities. Due to environmental, political, and social pressures, there is a greater focus on the use of clean and low-emission energy to replace fossil fuels.
Over time, WA plans to reduce its reliance on coal and diesel, especially as the cost of renewable energy decreases. Renewable energy generation can include the use of wind or solar power for example.
KPMG also highlights that WA may face a future challenge in attracting skilled workers, such as geoscientists, engineers, and people with automation experience. This is especially due to the aforementioned planned innovation surrounding increasing the use of clean technologies. WA should expect a greater demand than the available supply of talent. WA’s resource sector must then find ways to attract and retain such an essential workforce for the sector’s competitiveness.
Take advantage of mining and energy in Western Australia
Overall, Western Australia’s current and future outlook is promising. It is a world-leader and innovation hub for energy and mining production. Future improvements to this sector by people, technology, and innovation will only further boost this hub. Those at the forefront of technological innovation can take advantage of the opportunities in Western Australia. As a foreign mining company, you’ll need support from a specialist to get started.
At Biz Latin Hub, our mining lawyers offer a full suite of market entry and back-office services, customizable to the needs of your company. We operate across Latin America, providing market-leading support in company formation, due diligence, accounting and taxation, and visa processing activities, among others.
Reach out to us today here at Biz Latin Hub for customized support and assistance tailored to your company.