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Minerals Council of Australia NT Division : Minerals Council NT 2013
54 Minerals Council of Australia I’m very, very proud to be a miner. The influence of mining is severely understated, right across Australia. There are many opportunities for resources in regional Australia that provide a whole host of opportunities to local communities. We need to think about the influence that mining companies do have, and what we should have, moving forward.I think when you ask most Australians; “What do you think about first when you talk about mining?”, they might say “It’s the hole in the ground; companies make profits; companies have shareholders; they pay taxes; they employ a lot of people,” and then it tends to stop. I wish that many Australians actually realised how much we do pay to do business. Over the more than 30 years that ERA mined uranium from open pits at Ranger, we paid more than $400,000,000 in royalties, and around $1 billion in tax. If you took mining away, I’m sure there are a lot of schools, hospitals, roads and infrastructure right across the country that would be affected by that money not flowing in. ERA has provided several hundred well-paying jobs every year for 32 years. Many people don’t realise the true impact of this on the community. But I don’t want to talk about that side of things. I want to talk about the influence that mining companies should have, and do have in the local communities. I think when you ask Australians about mining, “What do they know about mining? And what’s the relevance of mining to your life?” The reality is that just about everything you look at is connected to mining. Whether it’s the buildings we live in, or whether it’s the cars we drive, or the computers that our kids tap on, or the mobile phones. If we didn’t have mining, in this day and age, we’d have practically nothing. Just about everything originates from the mines. I don’t think the awareness is terribly high about that. I don’t think our industry is given quite enough encouragement in recognition of that. When people come in and turn on the power, do they actually realise where it comes from. In most places in Australia, Coal is the fundamental power source. I don’t think many Australians realise that. I also don’t think that many people would realise that up until three years ago, our relatively small mine was producing the fuel for one per cent of the entire world’s electricity. I don’t think many people in the Northern Territory, never mind Australia, actually realise that. Mining is all around us, but I think that our influence is understated. I think it’s important that we absolutely embrace that influence, and make sure that our other stakeholders understand and accept the very positive influence that we can have. I am certainly not saying that mining is perfect. I think mining Darwin Mining Club – Rob Atkinson Extract from Speech given to the Darwin Mining Club by Rob Atkinson, Chief Executive Energy Resources of Australia Ltd
Minerals Council Aust NT Div 2012