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Speech to the Oriental mining club dinner, Beijing

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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

Oriental Mining Club Dinner 04 November 2011


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It is a great pleasure to be back in China, one of Australia’s most important trading partners.

Today I want to emphasise the immense resource and energy opportunities in Australia and assure you that Australia is, as it always has been, open to foreign investment.

Investment landscape

First, let’s run through some of the evidence of investment and growth in Australia’s resource sector.

Investment in Australia’s energy and mineral projects is at record levels.

Planned capital investment in Australia’s major energy and mineral projects stands at $173 billion.

Last year, approved investment from China in Australia reached $16 billion.

In 2010, China was Australia’s third-largest investor, and three-quarters of that investment was in mineral resources.

There are currently 94 advanced projects, from offshore LNG to mining, and coal seam gas.

Records keep tumbling, and announcements keep coming at an incredible rate.

Even though Australia’s resources sector is growing so quickly, we have a thirst for even more investment.

Only last month, BHP Billiton approved capital for the first phase of the $30 billion Olympic Dam expansion.

This expansion aims to develop a new copper, uranium and gold mine.

Current estimates are that the Olympic Dam open pit mine will be three kilometres wide and one kilometre deep. It will take five years just to remove the overburden.

Olympic Dam alone has the potential to raise Australian copper production from 180,000 to around 750,000 tonnes a year.

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