The Asia Miner

SEP-OCT 2014

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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September/October 2014 | ASIA Miner | 7 THE mining sector has reached a new fve-year low with confdence levels likely to take years to recover, according to industry leaders surveyed in the latest Mining Business Outlook Report prepared by Newport Consulting. Despite some optimism last year, the 2014 report found mining leaders plagued by tough market conditions including declining commodity prices, falling demand and a diffcult regulatory environment. A majority of leaders shared the view that the sector's future is now out of their control, signalling an increasing possibility of drastic chang- es to the industry especially in thermal coal. The report confrms the sector's increasing sombre outlook, with an overwhelming 93% of leaders not optimistic about their growth pros- pects for the next 12 months, up by more than 50% compared to last year. A further 82% are not confdent of large-scale projects resuming in the next 12 months, predicting it will take at least 3-5 years. Leading economist Saul Eslake supports the report's fndings. "I don't expect any major new mining projects to commence in the next few years. There is wide consensus that commodity prices will continue to decline as more supply comes on stream globally, while the growth rate of demand for commodities slows. Economic growth will continue at a below-trend pace over the next 12 months, and unemployment will continue to rise." Tough market conditions are the prevailing factor driving the gloomy outlook for almost fve in seven mining leaders. A further 25% are con- cerned by falling demand in key markets such as China, stating that demand from other markets will remain hampered due to the high costs of doing business in Australia. While last year's outlook was dominated by postponements in new investment, this year's negative views are shaped by persistent, ongo- ing macro-economic and market challenges out of the sector's control. Newport Consulting managing director David Hand says, "Mining leaders are telling us they've done all they can to address their business performance, as demonstrated by large cost-cutting exercises and job retrenchments. Leaders are demanding better business conditions for confdence to return. They've accepted the new lows and have em- braced a government who will listen. However, they want action quickly - less red tape, more fexible IR laws and better infrastructure." The report also reveals that the industry has lost its investment appeal, with 89% of leaders agreeing that Australia is no longer the world's best investment market. The report, conducted annually since 2010 by operational manage- ment consultancy Newport Consulting, canvasses the views of Aus- tralia's mining leaders. It draws on in-depth interviews with 60 mining executives from a broad range of private and public companies. STANDING barely fve feet tall, the massive 777 haul truck towering above her, Marina Bartolome is the face of a ground-breaking program to em- power women and change lives in the develop- ing world. Each day Marina and many women like her, drive 100 tonne ore trucks for Oceana- Gold at its Didipio gold and copper mine in the northern Philippines. Previously subsistence housewives with little or no prospect of skilled, well-paid employment, today these women are turning the traditional male-dominated mining model on its head and forging a new and economically empowering fu- ture with OceanaGold. In 2012 OceanaGold established the Didip- io Training Academy to provide unskilled, lo- cal community members with the training and knowledge necessary to gain government certi- fcation and work in the mining sector. The acad- emy has graduated 700 local Filipino men and women from the area surrounding the Didipio operation most of who are now employed in a variety of key operational and managerial roles at Didipio. For Marina, one of 43 female graduates of the academy, employment with OceanaGold's Filipi- no mining contractor Delta has given her oppor- tunities she'd never imagined possible. "Before Delta hired me I sold vegetables and other foods from house to house to support my children. Working with Delta has changed my life because it was heard to earn money and support my fam- ily this way, but now I have good work and am so happy and comfortable with my job. "My family was very happy for me when I accepted the job and I hope to be an ex- ample to other women. I started as a spotter then challenged myself with training on heavy equipment and when I passed my assessment Delta entrusted me with the 100 tonne trucks, and I succeeded. "I never thought I'd be working with a big inter- national mining company but it's a miracle. I've got a lot of opportunities now from working at Didipio because the training is at international standard and I can now drive a vehicle and have new opportunities to drive my life." OceanaGold's commitment to creating eco- nomic opportunities for women was recently recognized by the sixth Global CSR Awards, where it won the Gold Award for Empower- ment of Women. These awards are Asia's most prestigious recognition program for corporate social responsibility (CSR). The program rec- ognizes companies for outstanding, innovative and world-class products, services, projects and programs that demonstrate leadership and ongoing commitment to incorporating ethical values, compliance with legal requirements and respect for individuals, communities and the en- vironment in the way they do business. In 2014 an Empowerment of Women Award was introduced to recognize individuals or com- panies that have implemented programs com- mitted to women's empowerment and welfare with immediate or long-term positive effects to gender equality, economic improvements and cultural biases. Mining outlook hits fve-year low Marina Bartolome in front of one of the 777 haul trucks she drives at OceanaGold's Didipio project in the Philippines. She is holding the Gold Award for Empowerment of Women which the company recently won. Empowered women drive change

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