Article by Stuart McKinnon courtesy of The West Australian
WA’s gloom defying iron ore industry will help the nation’s resources sector post record export earnings of $299 billion this financial year, despite the impact of the global coronavirus crisis.
The March resources and energy quarterly report to be released by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science today predicts iron ore will become the first Australian commodity to top $100 billion in export earnings in a single year.
It also means iron ore will represent more than a third of Australia’s annual export earnings from resources and energy in 2019-20.
The record export earnings figure of $299 billion represents an upward revision of $15 billion on what was expected in December and easily eclipses the previous record set last financial year of $281 billion.
Manager of the resource economics team within the Office of the Chief Economist, David Thurtell, noted prices for some of Australia key export commodities such as iron ore, coal and gold had held up well despite volatile equity markets prompted by the coronavirus.
“The outlook for demand may have deteriorated slightly since we did our numbers but so has the Australian dollar, which has probably offset that,” he said.
The iron ore price has remained surprisingly strong, around $US90/t, despite the coronavirus on the back of resilient demand from China and as weather-related supply disruptions from Brazil and Australia linger.
“The extension of Lunar New Year holidays in China due to the COVID-19 outbreak appears to have impeded iron ore and coal production in China, and this has seen Chinese import demand for these commodities hold up better than expected,” Mr Thurtell said.
Meanwhile, export earnings from another of WA’s key resource commodities, gold, are expected to rise more than 40 per cent in 2019–20 to $26.4 billion.
“A recent surge in gold mine investment, prompted by record high Australian dollar gold prices, is also expected to see Australia overtake China to become the world’s biggest gold producer in 2021,” Mr Thurtell said.
“Massive investment in LNG saw Australia become the world’s largest gas exporter at points in 2019. Other commodities including copper, nickel and lithium hold strong prospects over the medium-term.”
The report predicts commodity price fluctuations relating to the impact of COVID-19 on the Chinese economy were likely to be fully unwound by the middle of the year.
WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy chief executive Paul Everingham said the data showed WA’s resources sector remained strong and would play a leading role in ensuring Australia’s economy sprang back to life after the coronavirus crisis.
However, the report showed lower commodity prices and a higher Australian dollar were expected to reduce export earnings to $271 billion next financial year, and further to $265 billion in 2021–22 before stabilising.
And what should have been done by the WHO and other world health authorities, and will still be profoundly useful.
Information compiled by Professor Ian Brighthope.
In addition to the recommendations in place regarding the prevention of the spread of Covid19, some simple and inexpensive measures could have been put in place and possibly saved human lives and the economic tragedies that have befallen the global population.
The Covid19 virus is a member of the common cold group of viruses. It has undergone genetic changes and become highly virulent and deadly to some, especially the aged and those with weakened immune systems.
We know from the medical and scientific literature that optimal nutrition is one of the main factors for a healthy well functioning immune system. Both vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and vitamin D are essential to and effective in supporting and strengthening the immune system.
Vitamin C also has antiviral activities against many viruses including the common cold and the influenza viruses.
Vitamin C at 1000-4000 mg per day will reduce the severity and shorten the duration of the common cold. Increasing the dose to 10,000 mg per day is required for more severe colds and in cases of mild to moderate influenza.
Much larger doses are required for those moderately to seriously ill with the Covid19 virus, especially if the patient is deteriorating. Doses of 100,000 mg and more have been given to seriously ill patients with, for example, viral pneumonia. These doses must be given intravenously. Please see the references below and the two 60 Minutes shows.
These dosing schedules are no different to the use of antibiotics for bacterial infections. A throat infection can be treated with low dose oral antibiotics. A lung infection will require much higher doses and if serious pneumonia occurs, IV injections.
There are physicians in most countries who have been giving these high doses of vitamin C for many decades. Hundreds of thousands of patients have benefited from intravenous vitamin C. Vitamin C is recognised as a valid treatment by specifically and highly trained doctors in the medical profession.
Another vitamin, vitamin D, has been proven to protect people against many viruses including the influenza viruses and the corona viruses. This protection extends to significantly reducing the risks of serious viral pneumonia and death.
An article from the British Medical Journal in 2017 (BMJ 2017;356:i6583) titled “Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data” concluded that:
‘Vitamin D supplementation was safe and it protected against acute respiratory tract infection overall. Patients who were very vitamin D deficient and those not receiving bolus doses experienced the most benefit.’
The issue with vitamin D is that we don’t know the blood levels of vitamin D in the general population. We do know that intakes are low, exposure to sunlight is inadequate, and the elderly and those in institutions are often very deficient.
Have we forgotten that our grandparents gave us cod liver oil in the winter.
The reason, to ward off the effects of the common cold. How did it work? It contained vitamins A and D.
The cost to supplement an adult with 1000-2000 International Units of vitamin D per day is 7-14 cents at current retail prices. This equates to about $25-$50 a year. Compare this cost to the economic tragedy and loss of lives from influenza and now the Corona virus.
Nutrients are powerful therapeutic agents. Without vitamins we die. With inadequate vitamin levels we get sick. With optimum levels, we thrive and reduce the risk of disease and death.
When are the authorities going to wake up? After the next round of deadly flu, SARS, MERS and Swine? Bird flu.
My family, friends, relatives and intelligent colleagues will be supplementing.
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Roy Hill has signed a contract with Epiroc to deliver their automated haul truck solution. Leading global mining equipment and services provider Epiroc, in partnership with automation specialist ASI Mining, is set to convert Roy Hill’s mixed fleet of 77 haul trucks from manned to autonomous use.
Roy Hill is saddened to advise of an incident on Monday, 27 January 2020, during which an individual was seriously injured. The person was transferred to Perth by the Royal Flying Doctor Service and subsequently passed away in hospital. The person was an employee of DIAB Engineering, who was working at the Roy Hill mine site in the Pilbara, West Australia.
This is a tragic loss of life for family, friends and colleagues and we extend our deepest condolences. We cannot release details about the person and we ask for respect for their family at this extraordinarily difficult time and to allow them to properly communicate this news with their family.
The health and safety of all our people is our number one priority, and safety stops across our sites to inform and support our workforce have been occurring. Support has been extended to the worker’s family and colleagues.
DIAB Engineering and Roy Hill is working closely with the regulator, who are conducting a full investigation into the accident.
Further updates will be provided as and when appropriate.
Response to Media Article: The Surprising Place Where Australia’s Richest Woman Recruits Mine Workers, Bloomberg 27 March 2017
Roy Hill Provides Clarification
Roy Hill knows that the driving force behind our success are our people, and we’re committed to attracting and retaining those who have the right mix of skills, knowledge, leadership and motivation. Roy Hill isn’t just focussed on hiring people with mining experience – we’re on the lookout for people whose values and attributes align with ours, and the goals of the organisation.
As an equal opportunity employer and in a bid to seek out and attract people with these qualities, Roy Hill has sought unique ways in which to reach out and highlight the job opportunities that are available to members of the community who perhaps have never considered a career in mining. We respect and value the diversity of our people and believe our differences strengthen our business. Roy Hill is committed to providing an inclusive work environment, where everyone is treated fairly and with respect.