About mining in Australia
Mining is a significant primary industry and contributor to the Australian economy.
Mining has been a driving force for much of the exploration of Australia's remote inland and for Australia's industrial development, from the gold rushes of the 19th Century, through the iron ore and nickel booms of the 1960s, through the later growth of the coal industry, and to the current booming demand for minerals to fuel the industrial growth of much of the rest of the world.
Australia has benefited greatly from the current resources boom, reflected in high rates of economic growth, record low levels of unemployment and increasing incomes for Australians.
Mining companies operating in Australia benefit from a stable regulatory environment with low sovereign risk and access to a highly skilled workforce and world leading technologies. These factors have allowed mining operations in Australia remain amongst the lowest cost in the world.
How is RET involved?
The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET) is engaged in several key mining activities:
Australia's mineral commodities
The department has policy responsibility for a number of Australia's mineral commodities, including coal, iron ore, bauxite, alumina and aluminium, rough diamonds, gold and copper, lead and zinc, mineral sands and rare earths, nickel and uranium.
Coal seam gas
Coal Seam Gas is a form of natural gas that can be used in the same way as conventional gas and is used to generate electricity. To ensure that CSG industry developments are undertaken in a responsible and sustainable manner, the department works closely with state and territory governments who have primary responsibility for regulating the CSG industry.
National Mine Safety Framework
The National Mine Safety Framework (NMSF) is an initiative of the Ministerial Council on Mineral and Petroleum Resources which aims to achieve a nationally consistency occupational health and safety regime for the Australian mining industry. The council's steering group is supported by the NMSF Secretariat and is housed within RET.
Offshore exploration and mining
Australia's offshore mining is the exploration for, and mining of, minerals beyond Australia's coastal baseline. Working in partnership with the states and the Northern Territory, the department assists in the awarding of exploration permits and other titles, and the regulation of industry activities.