OPINION: A New Year of Opportunities
Like other Hunter industries the mining sector faced many challenges in 2021, including Covid-19. Thanks to the incredible efforts of our local mining workforce and our mining supplier businesses we were mostly able to keep our mines running throughout 2021.
Throughout the pandemic we’ve worked with governments and regulators to help our member companies continue to operate in a safe manner. There has been positive support and recognition for the efforts of our sector to maintain operations and protect jobs.
We all must continue to remain vigilant in the protection of the health of our people, our supply businesses and their families as we look forward to the potential opportunities that 2022 has in store for our region.
Despite these challenges, mining in NSW is generally enjoying very strong market conditions with healthy commodity prices and strong demand.
There are also more future opportunities for jobs and investment in the Hunter’s mining sector with nine local mining projects in the NSW planning system with the potential to protect or create 6,500 local jobs and deliver around $2.5 billion of investment for the region.
Recently we renewed our sponsorship of the Newcastle Knights, and the wonderful partnership will mark up a decade in 2022 with the tenth annual Voice for Mining Family Day during the season. With high vaccination rates, falling case numbers and the eventual easing of restrictions, we hope to see many thousands of local miners and their families at McDonald Jones Stadium this year, when the Knights will once again play in their famous, hi-vis mining jersey.
Last year demonstrated once again the resilience of the Hunter mining sector. We have always been able to meet whatever challenges come our way, and so it will be again in 2022.
Stephen Galilee, CEO, NSW Minerals Council