What we do


We are a project-reporting and consultancy company, specialising in the mining, oil-and-gas and infrastructure sectors.


Project reporting


We report on mining and oil-and-gas projects in Australia. We also cover projects overseas where driven from Australia. 


We focus on projects from a pre-feasibility stage through to early construction.


In our reporting, we strive to be accurate, timely, comprehensive and responsive to subscribers' needs. As part of this, we strive to provide accurate details of the key people involved in projects (e.g. project managers, engineering consultants and, when appointed, contractors).


Reports are issued at least twice a month. They are delivered to subscribers in PDF and Excel formats. In addition, subscribers have access to our project database, which provides a convenient storage place for reports, as well as allowing for the organisation of reports by criteria such as location, commodity and company. 


For subscriptions, see Order Form above. 


Consultancy

Our services range from providing strategic advice on particular markets, to analysing market trends and assisting clients in pursuing specific market opportunities. 


We work particularly with suppliers, consultants, contractors and professional firms. Our clients range from large Australian and international companies to small and medium-sized companies from Australia and overseas. 


For further information on our services, please contact us at melbourne@resourcesmonitor.com.au or +61 411 478307. 



Source: Stephen Codrington


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Project Notes



RESOURCES PROJECTS: THE OUTLOOK
20 June 2019


Australian mining and oil-and-gas exports are forecast to increase strongly this financial year, compared to the previous financial year. This is shown in percentage terms below:   

Iron ore

18

Alumina

18

Metallurgical coal

16

Lead

31

Thermal coal

12

Liquefied natural gas

59

Copper

18

Total resources

22


Source: Resources and Energy Quarterly, March 2019.


In line with this buoyant export situation, capital investment in mining has increased since late 2016. This follows a steady decline in the previous five years.


Increased capital investment is notable in the case of iron-ore. The three major producers – Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue Metals Group ­– are spending between them at least $10 billion on new developments in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.


Increased capital investment is notable also in the case of lithium, with this driven by increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries (e.g. for mobile phones, electric vehicles).


Major developments, all in Western Australia, include expansion of the Greenbushes mine south of Perth (the world’s largest lithium mine), a major new mine in the Kalgoorlie region and associated refineries to process lithium concentrate into higher-grade products.


And there have been significant investments by individual companies in other areas (e.g. Carrapateena copper-gold project in South Australia).


Existing iron-ore and lithium projects will provide work for mining-services companies for several years to come. But they will not necessarily be the source of major new projects.


Iron-ore prices – currently buoyed by shutdowns of mines in Brazil because of collapses of tailings dams – are expected to retreat from their current high (over US$100 per tonne).


And lithium prices have fallen by 50% in the last 18 months, reflecting an increase in supply. This lessens room in the immediate future for other than low-cost projects.


However, the approval this month of Adani Australia’s planned thermal-coal mine in the Galilee Basin in Queensland is likely to open the way for further thermal-coal developments in this region, elsewhere in Queensland and in New South Wales.  


Strong growth in India is opening up a market for Australia for metallurgical coal, with several new developments on-the-drawing-board (e.g. Olive Downs in Queensland, Vickery in New South Wales).


And in the view of BHP, nickel “offers high-return potential as a future growth option, linked to the expected growth in battery markets and the relative scarcity of quality nickel-sulphide supply” (Mr Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive Officer, 14 May 2019).


BHP is similarly optimistic about the outlook for copper.


In contrast to mining, capital expenditure in the oil-and-gas sector has declined steadily for the past four years, reflecting the completion of major offshore projects (e.g. Gorgon, Wheatstone, Ichthys) and the three liquefied-natural gas (LNG) plants at Gladstone in Queensland.


However, increasing concern about limited supplies of gas in the eastern states is likely to see increasing project work in this field.


New coal-seam gas developments are planned in Queensland.


In New South Wales, the government approved in April the development of a terminal at Port Kembla for the conversion of imported LNG into gas for distribution in the state. In addition, it appears ready (after more than two years of dithering) to decide this year on Santos’ coal-seam gas project at Narrabri.


Between them, these two projects would meet all of New South Wales’ gas needs and generate a surplus for sale in other states.


In the Northern Territory, following government approvals this month, Origin Energy and Santos expect in coming weeks to start exploration drilling – with this to include hydraulic fracturing – in the Beetaloo Basin. This basin, about 600 kilometres south of Darwin, is considered highly prospective for gas, which could be supplied to the eastern states.


Finally, Australian mining projects overseas offer attractive work for mining-service companies. Examples: Wafi-Golpu (copper-gold) in Papua New Guinea; KSK (copper) in Indonesia; Bawdwin (lead-zinc-silver) in Myanmar: Wa, Bibiani and Fekola (all gold) in west Africa; T3 (copper) in Botswana; Toliara Sands (mineral sands) in Madagascar; Olaroz Phase 2 (lithium) in Argentina; and Cascabel (copper-gold) in Ecuador.


Australia is probably the world’s largest foreign investor in mining projects globally.