PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has launched a A$50 000 yearly award for individuals willing to defend the Australian mining industry.
In a surprise visit to the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (Amec) Awards, Rinehart said that the award was aimed at people who were prepared to stand up for the industry, promote it and work toward a better understanding of it.
“I hope this helps to encourage brave souls who love our country and who recognise that the mining industry in Australia with its related industries is important for our future,” she added.
“We need people, and we have some who are prepared to be unpopular, or very unpopular. We need people who are willing to be leaders despite the detractors. To say things that should be heard, not avoided, in the interest of our industry and country.”
Rinehart also used the Amec Award ceremony to draw attention to Australia’s record debt, and warned that the resources project investment pipeline was under threat.
“We can bury our heads in the sand and pretend this critical investment pipeline is secure, and attack those who explore and invest and risk, but we can’t rationally expect to address the decline in exploration and the investment pipeline unless we introduce policies to make investment in Australian projects and exploration welcome, and enable them to be cost competitive internationally, and improve the overall risks,” she added.
Rinehart warned that with the current conditions in Australia, which included the introduction of a minerals resource rent tax and a carbon tax, Australia was in jeopardy of losing its resources investment to overseas competitors.
“We have never faced before the competitive risk we now face from lower-cost countries with vast resources. We cannot afford to ignore that they have vast resources.”