4 March 2016
Mrs. Gina Rinehart
CME Women in Resources Lifetime Achievement Award Introduction
Mrs Georgina Rinehart is the Executive Chairman of the Hancock Prospecting Group, an exploration and now mining company group she became chair of in 1992. She turned the company, then in considerable difficulties, into a mining enterprise with major projects in West Australia and Queensland along with a pipeline of other projects.
Mrs Rinehart has been involved in establishing three major mines and in 2014 her Roy Hill Project secured the largest debt funding package for a land-based mining project. On December 10 2015, the first shipment of iron ore from the Roy Hill mine left Port Hedland. After ramp up, this will become the largest iron ore mine in Australia, quite a story from 1992 when professionals were advising Mrs Rinehart not to take up the discarded Roy Hill tenements, as they were of little or less value.
Mrs Rinehart has been widely recognised particularly overseas, for her achievements including: the first company to achieve the prestigious Diggers and Dealers award twice, an honorary doctorate from Bond University, one of only a few awarded, a 2014 Order of Merit by the Australian Olympic Committee, and, after various prestigious international lifetime achievement awards, in 2015 the International Mining and Resources Conference Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award, was presented to her in Australia, and then her most recent award, Miner of the Decade, awarded by the Sydney Mining Club.
We are pleased to now add CME Women in Resources Awards Lifetime Achievement Award to that list.
Given Mrs Rinehart’s unfortunate cough, friend of Mrs Rinehart and fellow Telstra Business Women’s Award winner, Mrs Sue Daubney, will be giving Mrs Rinehart’s acceptance speech on her behalf.
CME Women in Resources Lifetime Achievement Award Speech – Mrs Gina Rinehart
Good morning everyone. I am delighted to be here with you today for the Chamber of Minerals and Energy, Women in Mining Event.
Thank you also to the CME for presenting me with a Lifetime Achievement Award. I am delighted to receive recognition from the industry that I have been part of and that has been part of me throughout so much of my life and it is particularly special to receive this acknowledgement in my home state of West Australia.
At this time our mining industry is struggling with significantly lower commodity prices and the need to improve productivity and lower costs.
Now more than ever, we need to ensure that we have visible symbols of success so that the next generation of female students can see a pathway to the top in mining and this is where the CME plays a valuable role in celebrating the success of our industry’s female leaders.
I would like to warmly congratulate all the women who have been selected as finalists in the CME women in resources awards. As chair of both Hancock Prospecting and Roy Hill, I would like to make special mention of the Roy Hill finalists who are here with us today, Jeanette, Jodi and Claire – well done on being selected and making Roy Hill proud through your hard work and participation in our important industry.
Women in Resources
CME’s recent survey found that female participation in the mining sector between 2013 and 2015 decreased by 1% to just below 18%. The Roy Hill female participation rate is better than the industry average at almost 20%. A bright spot on the horizon is the increase to 26% in female apprentices, trainees and graduates.
Women, should they wish a career in the mining industry, need to consider doing more than saying that promoting diversity in the workplace is the right thing to do, but that there is also a clear business case to drive increased levels of female participation, and of course, clear reasons why they individually should be selected.
For instance, we can point to improved safety levels with women in the mining workforce, and some lower turnover rates, but the rest is importantly up to each individual.
What is Roy Hill doing?
Female students experiencing the ROC
We have for several years undertaken a program I started where students from my old girls school, St Hilda’s, could visit the ROC and experience the advanced technology being used to manage and control all of our Pilbara operations from pit to port from our Perth base. We will offer more visits to female students, to showcase where the mining industry has progressed to in 2016 and perhaps encourage more women to select a mining career.
Another initiative under way is our pink trucks program where I have asked that all future Caterpillar truck trays are painted pink as a way of highlighting not only breast cancer, but the value of women in mining and to demonstrate that this is something we as a company value. I am looking forward to taking the delivery of our first pink truck – DT40 at the end of April.
Female only job assessment centres
Recently we held our first female only job assessment centre with good results. Roy Hill was able to recruit high quality candidates to join us for our production ramp-up phase.
Further public initiatives
I inaugurated National Mining and Related Industries Day, which is held each November 22nd . In addition to such annual pro mining industry annual events, I write for a quarterly mining and investment publication, and have written two books, also pro the mining industry, its contribution to our country and its future, and its opportunities.
I think it is important that the mining sector is seen as an interesting career option for women and I would like to share some insights into the $10B Roy Hill project. What an exciting time it is for all those who have worked so hard over many years to develop and be part of Australia’s mega project, Roy Hill.
To date approximately 50, 000 people have been involved in making this project possible. We currently remain within budget – somewhat of a rarity for a major project in West Australia.
We have certainly achieved exciting milestones including recently;
First Shipment leaves Port Hedland
On 10 December I was on board the Anangel Explorer, with my daughter Ginia and fellow execs, for our projects’ first shipment, a unique treat for a project owner, as she sailed out of Port Hedland harbor. An incredible journey, from when professionals advised back in 1992 not to proceed with applying for Roy Hill, it was of no value, to our company HPPL’s, successful exploration, which now forms the basis for what will soon be Australia’s largest single iron ore mine, when it reaches 55 mtpa next year.
First Shipment arrives in South Korea
The Anangel Explorer arrived at the Gwangyang harbour, South Korea, on 28 December. First steel was produced at POSCO’s steelworks in January from this Roy Hill ore. POSCO kindly presented me with a commemorative sample of the first steel produced. Here it is!
With the help of 50, 000 people who worked on Roy Hill over the years!
Plant handed over and being operated by Roy Hill
On 1 February Samsung handed over the full mineral processing plant, rail and port facility to Roy Hill’s responsibility. Roy Hill is now operating the plant and progressively ramping up production. Early production levels continue to track to plan.
These are just a few of the exciting milestones in recent months, time allocation cut out mentioning others!
I would like to publically congratulate the Hancock and Roy Hill teams who have delivered these magnificent achievements in conjunction with unfailing support from our steadfast partners Marubeni, POSCO and CSC.
I would also like to thank and acknowledge the small team who worked so hard to achieve the debt financing, the largest mainly greenfield mainland resource project funding in the worlds history. Ever. Quite an achievement. Could those present from our financing team, please stand? Without this achievement there would currently be no Roy hill.
The case for reducing bureaucracy to remain competitive
In terms of the world iron-ore market, Roy Hill is a low-cost producer, with low phosphorous impurities, significant lump ratio, consistent quality, so we are better situated than most.
But Australia needs to understand that there is nothing we can do about international prices and if we don’t keep our costs down and export competitively, other nations will.
We must realise the extra cost burden imposed by governments, both state and federal, with their approvals, permits, licences and regulatory compliance, and achieve ways to significantly and urgently cut this burden.
My father, Lang Hancock, through his discoveries and determination to overcome bureaucracy to enable the benefit of his discoveries, changed Australia’s future. Since the first significant exports were achieved from the Pilbara in the latter half of the sixties, the WA iron ore export industry has earned a staggering more than $460 billion plus in export earnings, and in the process raising living standards across our country.
Please try to imagine where Australia would be without the $460 billion plus contribution from the iron ore industry alone, let alone the rest of the mining and related industries. How much more debt would our record debt country be in without the staggering contribution from our resources industries?
We’d have surpassed the Greece tragedy years ago.
Our industry is one that has contributed exceptionally to our state and country for decades. But we need to remind our media and pollies that there is a commodity prices crash, and government must urgently cut its regulatory costs, so that the industry continues to bring benefits to our country and job opportunities in future.
In a time when government is expanding even more and we have reached record debt in excess of $400 billion, leaders are needed and I hope you will join with me to stand up for Our important industry.
Mining Permit Blues
In closing I would like to play part of a song entitled “Mining Permit Blues” written as a gift for me by my good friend Jim Viets after he learnt of our struggles over the years needing to obtain more than 4,000 permits, licences and approvals required just to be able to get Roy Hill to pre-construction . I hope you enjoy the song and that it resonates and perhaps motivates people to speak out against excessive regulation driving up costs and making Australian mining uncompetitive.
Courtesy of Mrs. Gina Rinehart