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Questions on mining projects' socio-economic viability

1 June 2018
Do mining projects really deliver financial benefits?
Professor Dodo Thampapillai presented a paper that questions the economic benefits of the Liverpool Plains and Galilee Basin mining projects, by taking into account mineral asset depreciation.
Tractor in a mine

This paper deals with economic analyses of two controversial mining projects in Australia – one on the Liverpool Plains in New South Wales and the other on the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland.

The adverse environmental and social externalities of these projects are well known – especially the impacts on the Gunnedah and the Great Artesian Basins. Notwithstanding these impacts, private financial analyses demonstrate significant revenue gains to the mining firms and render expenditures on mining to be sound investments.

In spite of this, economic analyses illustrate that the net benefits to Australia are possibly absent even without accounting for environmental social externalities.The paper argues that the assessment of mining decisions, must account for the depreciation of the mineral asset.

About the speaker

Professor Dodo Thampapillai

Professor Dodo Thampapillai

Professor Dodo Thampapillai teaches economics at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. He also holds an Adjunct Professorship at Macquarie University, where he was awarded a Personal Chair in Environmental Economics in 2001.

Professor Thampapillai was awarded the DFG Professorship by the University of Kiel and a Visiting Professorship by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.