The South Australian Government has released a discussion paper on the recommendations developed by the Resources & Energy Sector Infrastructure Council (RESIC) to promote growth of the South Australian minerals and energy sector.


The recommendations were based on information from the Parsons Brinckerhoff 2011 Resources and Energy Infrastructure Demand Study, released in December last year.


Launching the discussion paper, the Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis said the recommendations provided by the Resources & Energy Sector Infrastructure Council (RESIC)  were a crucial step in ensuring South Australia is able to meet the demands of the global resources sector.


“Feedback from the consultation process that will follow the paper’s release will enable this Government to be in the best position to work with industry to form a sustainable resources sector.


“We will be using the responses to the discussion paper to make the most appropriate decisions for the long-term benefit of the South Australian community.


“It is important South Australia uses the window of opportunity provided by the strong global demand for our resources to lock in the sort of projects that will build up our capacity to export.”


Mr Koutsantonis said the Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy (DMITRE) is leading the government’s efforts to build the mineral resources and energy sector.


The Parsons Brinkerhoff study identified that 42 projects, with a total budget – including capital expenditure and related infrastructure – estimated at $59 billion, are required to satisfy the needs of existing and future projects. This figure is regarded as a “best case scenario” and does not include the planned expansion of Olympic Dam.


A weighting methodology developed by Parsons Brinckerhoff reflected project confidence levels,including the likelihood of project delays. As a result, the number of identified projects was reduced to 24 with a revised capital value of $35 billion.


The IDS survey data indicates it is critical for investment in core enabling infrastructure to be aligned to project requirements and timelines to avoid delays that could minimise the benefits to South Australia of high commodity prices and global demand.


RESIC's recommendations include the establishment of infrastructure corridors in three regions: Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula/Braemar Province and the Upper North.  It envisaged that the infrastructure corridors will accommodate transmission infrastructure such as electricity, water, gas, slurry and rail/roadinfrastructure, both to mine sites and from mine sites to ports.  The multi-purpose utility hubs will house infrastructure associated with bulk commodity exports such as port terminals, storage facilities, mineral processing facilities and associated infrastructure, wharf infrastructure and ship-loading systems. They could also include desalination facilities for slurry pipelines and ore processing facilities.


It also recommended that  the South Australian Government facilitate the development of three new deep sea ports that are able to be served by appropriate rail and road infrastructure, sufficient to support the future development of minerals and energy projects in South Australia. These include a deep-sea port at Port Spencer, Port Bonython and on the Yorke Peninsula.


The discussion paper is available here. Responses are required by March 26.