World Mining Congress a Tremendous Success, Showcasing the Australian Mining Industry to the World

Today marked the close of the 26th World Mining Congress 2023 held from 26 to 29 June at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. It has been an engaging week as this preeminent triennial gathering of the global mining industry was held in Australia for the first time since WMC’s founding in 1958. The event featured an extensive multi-stream program, impressive line-up of speakers and delegates from around the world, and provided an important focus on the extensive global mining project development requirements ahead.

Hosted by Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO, and strongly supported by government, industry, and academia, the theme for this Congress was Resourcing Tomorrow: Creating Value for Society. It examined the world’s future economic and social dependence on resources, considering issues like environmental sustainability, climate change, digital transformation, disruptive technologies, and future workforce. The Congress provided further support for Bridgend’s internal view we are on the precipice of another global mining boom, with a much more limited capacity of traditional specialist mining project finance banks able to support.

As 3,600 delegates representing more than 70 countries gathered from across the global mining industry, the event featured addresses from 15 eminent plenary speakers, more than 600 presentations across 13 core streams and 3 symposia, and 15,000 square metres of exhibition space showcasing the latest research and information, advanced technologies, equipment, services, and leading mining practice.

Monday afternoon saw the Queensland Government host a Critical Minerals Investor Forum with keynote presentations by Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King and Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick outlining government commitments to Australia’s critical minerals sector, followed by an expert panel discussion. King noted that “the road to net zero runs through the resources sector”.

Tuesday morning saw BHP’s CEO Mike Henry tackle the continuing fallout from the Queensland Government’s significant and unprecedented increase in coal royalties last year.  Reflecting on both the unreasonable financial impact of these changes and a process devoid of industry consultation, Henry revealed that BHP would no longer invest any growth capital in Queensland under these conditions.  While the Queensland Government was quick to brush aside this critique, the sobering reality of damage done to Queensland’s standing as a preferred destination for mining capital investment, and the increase in Australia’s broader sovereign risk assessment for mining investment now factoring into final investment decisions in other boardrooms and governments around the world, was not lost on anyone across the industry.  To have the CEO of the world’s largest and most respected mining company announcing at a global industry gathering that he will no longer invest in Queensland cannot be downplayed or ignored. There is clearly much work ahead to repair and restore Queensland’s reputation. Bridgend notes a delegation led by the Queensland Premier is heading to Japan shortly to look to address some of these concerns.

On Tuesday evening, Nick Rees and Chris Williams represented Bridgend as the Queensland Art Gallery played host to the Queensland Government’s Congress Dinner featuring a keynote address from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.  Kudos to the event organisers for using small sections of drill core from the Queensland Government backed Heritage Minerals Mount Morgan restart operation as place cards, a fitting addition to the guest tables.

Wednesday evening saw over 2,000 delegates gather for the official Congress Gala Dinner ‘Under the Southern Stars’, a spectacular celebration of all things mining.  The night featured live music, dancers, fire twirling, and an impassioned address by Queensland Resources Council CEO Ian McFarlane.  It was great to showcase the Australian mining industry to the world.

Bridgend Capital Advisory was proud to support this important event as ‘Sponsored Delegate’ sponsor.

(Photos courtesy of N. Rees. Used with permission.)

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