Sweet taste of mining
Small and large communities across the State are benefiting from having mining in their backyard. By Lindy McNamara
Next time you’ re heading down the South Eastern freeway, make time to call into the little cafe at Callington. Order the marinated chicken burger, sit back and enjoy! And if burgers aren’t your thing, try a slice of the New York baked cheesecake or one of the triple fudge brownies – they’re delicious and made by a true New Yorker, owner Nancy Bradbury. From the outside, the Bremer River Cottage Cafe may seem just like any other eatery you might come across on a long distance journey. While its great food certainly sets it apart from many of its competitors, the small family-run business has another secret to its success… the mining industry. Located a short distance from Hillgrove’s Kanmantoo copper mine, the cafe has leapt ahead in leaps and bounds over the past three years since it began servicing the catering requirements of staff at the site. Nancy and her daughter Amanda are on hand to prepare the morning tea and lunch orders emailed by the mine office each day, with two deliveries to the site at 10am and noon. They also cater for meetings and the two major contractors on site, Andy’s Earthmovers and Roc-Drill. Then there are the tradies, truck drivers and sub contractors who stop off at the cafe for something to eat before they make the fiveminute drive to Kanmantoo, as well as the cake orders from mine workers who are celebrating an event at home. “The mine has played a good role in growing the business,” Nancy says. “Orders can vary from one to 30 items, but Fridays are usually really busy because I offer pizzas then as well.” With the mine operating 365 days a year, Nancy knows she is lucky to have a steady flow of income coming in from the venture and as a ISSUE 01 RESOURCING SA Spring 2015
way of thanking Hillgrove, she has worked the past two Christmases to cater for the workers. “I did platters to feed two shifts, 120 people on one day. I gave up my Christmas Day because I thought it would be nice for the people working there to have a decent meal on the holiday. “I really appreciate the mine, not just for my business but what it does for the local area.” It is this flow-on impact – known as the multiplier effect – that is often forgotten when people talk about the benefits of mining in South Australia. While the State receives the royalties, many businesses small and large are reaping the rewards of nearby mines. Putting an actual figure on the multiplier effect for mining is not an easy task and interpreting the numbers can be as difficult as calculating them, especially when the economy is experiencing rapid change. In February 2013 the Reserve Bank of Australia released a working paper that estimated the size of the Australian ‘resource economy’ at “around 18 percent of gross value added in 2011/12”. Researchers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology compiled data using Australian Bureau of Statistics figures and formulas a few years ago, to calculate multipliers across various sectors within the mining industry. (Costing of the Greens’ economic policies, 2011). They found that the mining sector generates significantly more jobs than Australia’s other major industries. For example, for each full time person employed in the oil & gas sector an additional 7.6 jobs were created across the broader economy. For mining, multipliers ranged from 5-7 jobs depending on the commodity mined. In comparison, the retail sector created an additional 1.9 jobs and the finance industry an additional 3.2. Together with the needs of minerals developers and producers, the discretionary spend
of workers in the sector has an enormous cumulative impact, which is once again more pronounced in the mining industry, due to the higher paid nature of many roles. The study found that a $1 increase in the salaries of mining industry workers translated to an additional $3.60 to $5.70 (depending again on commodity mined) earned by workers in all other industries of the economy. A more recent report by consultancy firm Port Jackson Partners earlier this year focused on the impact of the iron ore industry. It found that by capitalising on the opportunities of the past decade, the industry had created a market position even stronger than before the commodities boom. As a result, they concluded – subject to any detrimental policy decisions – that the industry will contribute more than $600 billion to the national economy over the next decade. This is even higher than over the decade to 2014. Socio-economic assessments are often undertaken in the feasibility stage for new mines, to demonstrate the benefits they will bring to the local and wider communities. As outlined in a report undertaken by Gillespie Economics for the Cadia East gold mine in NSW, sectors that receive the flow-on impacts of mining include wholesale trade; electricity supply; retail trade; hotels, cafes and restaurants; scientific and technical services; law, accounting and marketing; banking; ownership of homes; health services; personal services and road transport. Ernst and Young compiled an Economic Contribution Study for Iluka Resources in 2013, looking at the economic impact of its operations in Australia and the United States. It found that its Jacinth-Ambrosia mineral sands project 290 km from Ceduna had a significant positive impact on not only the West Coast community, but SA in general.
Published on Sep 25, 2015
This is the launch issue of Resourcing SA, a magazine focused on the people, communities and stories surrounding South Australia's dynamic m...