Economic Impact Analysis of Automated Mines in Australia
According to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), in 2011 the value of resource exports rose by 16%, accounting for 2 percentage points of the 5.5% growth in nominal GDP over the year to December (RBA, 2012). While the volume of export capacity did not change significantly (only increasing by 1%), the prices of minerals have steadily increased in the last 30 years. This gap between the value and volume of export growth can be addressed by technological solutions to increase productivity. Any technological solution that can increase mining production volume would yield a significant increase in value, which in turn would increase Australia’s GDP.
Our findings suggest that in 2013, if 3% of Australian mines had started the process of fully automating their mines, over the next 20 years, every year on average, mining revenues would increase by nearly AUD$436 million for coal, AUD$724 million for iron ore, AUD$291 million for bauxite and AUD$105 million for copper