Open mine tailings, SA

The South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) has welcomed the South Australia Government’s investment in the resources sector in its 202425 State Budget. 

SACOME said the resources sector is the powerhouse of the South Australia’s economy, contributing more than $10.7 billion annually, and has enabled the South Australia Government to deliver funding for housing, health and skills in the 202425 State Budget. 

Budget highlights for the resources sector include: 

  • $3.6 million over two years for the development of a green iron and steel strategy 
  • $4.1 million over four years for the implementation of the Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act 
  • $1.7 million over two years for the Whyalla steelworks transformation 
  • $15.4 million over three years for Brukunga acid mine drainage treatment plant 
  • $5.8 million in additional funding for Whyalla accommodation to support the Hydrogen Jobs Plan workforce 
  • $20 million in ongoing additional road maintenance funding from 2027-28 
  • $4.1 million over four years to support large-scale hydrogen and renewable energy projects 
  • $692.6 million over five years for skills and training 

SACOME said it has called for budget measures to drive economic transformation and said it is pleased to see these calls being actioned through the South Australian Government’s State Prosperity Project. 

Green iron and steel strategy and Whyalla steelworks transformation 

Iron and steel account for approximately 95 per cent of all metals used by modern industrial societies and the need to decarbonise the production of these materials is critical to attaining net zero targets. 

The Northern Water Project is key to expansion of mining activity in the Gawler Craton and reindustrialisation of the Upper Spencer Gulf.  

SACOME said the resources sector has welcomed State and Federal Government investment in this project. 

SACOME Chief Executive, Rebecca Knol, said, “The Northern Water Project remains a flagship initiative for SACOME, and we are pleased to see ongoing funding support from the South Australian Government. 

“This project is critical to the growth of South Australian resources sector and South Australia’s ambitions for the green industrialisation of our economy.” 

Funding for the implementation of a green iron and steel strategy and the Whyalla steelworks transformation is expected to ensure the South Australia Department of Energy and Mining is adequately resourced to progress this work, and to ensure that the production of iron and steel has a strong future in South Australia. 

More than 90 per cent of South Australia’s iron is magnetite, a high-quality resource integral to the production of green steel. 

“Understanding the importance of green manufacturing to a low carbon future is critical for South Australia’s prosperity and SACOME is delighted that this issue is being afforded priority in this year’s budget,” Ms Knol said. 

“While hydrogen and renewables are viewed as central to green manufacturing, SACOME continues to advocate for nuclear to provide a proven, reliable and zero emissions source of industrial heat.” 

Skilled workforce 

A skilled workforce is required to achieve the ambitions outlined in the State Prosperity Project and the 202425 Budget allocates more than $250 million for school upgrades and new infrastructure, with an additional $692.6 million in skills funding over five years. 

While these building blocks are important, so too is a school curriculum that adequately integrates science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to support the future pipeline of skilled workers crucially needed for the resources sector and other essential industries. 

SACOME, in collaboration with Catholic Education South Australia, has implemented a STEM Digital Technology Pilot and has called for the South Australian Government to fund the implementation of this program in all government schools, in addition to its school infrastructure and upgrades program. 

“The teaching of STEM in schools is vital to ensuring South Australia keeps pace with the technological change needed to advance social and economic prosperity,” Ms Knol said. 

“We must ensure that the pipeline of talent required for the industries of tomorrow are nurtured today. 

“Understanding why the resources mined and produced in our state are integral to our everyday lives is fundamental to an educated workforce. SACOME is proud to partner with State Government on the ResourcefulSA campaign which is increasing public awareness of this important sector,” Ms Knol said.  

Image: crbellette/


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