Copper to the World Conference

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:37): My question is to the Minister for Energy and Mining. Can the Minister for Energy and Mining provide an update on last week's Copper to the World Conference?

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining) (14:37): I thank the member for Hammond, who I know is a very strong and genuine supporter of the mining industry. He understands the benefits to his electorate from it, and he himself has in fact worked in a previous life in the resources sector, so he does know it firsthand. His support is greatly appreciated by the industry throughout South Australia.

The Copper to the World Conference was an outstanding event. I think that both sides of this chamber can share some credit in that because the Department of Energy and Mining organised the event. I know that the genesis of that organisation was before the last election, so I think people on both sides of this chamber can share in the credit for having put it on.

It was wonderful to be asked to speak at the social evening the night before, which was at the South Australian Museum. It is a truly outstanding South Australian institution. It was wonderful to be there and wonderful for people to be able to enjoy an engaging social event to start the conference but also wonderful to be able to share the South Australian Museum with people from Adelaide, other states and internationally as well. It was also terrific to be invited to open the conference.

It was a tremendous event with about 300 people in attendance. It is fair to say that everyone there was very, very positive about the future of copper in South Australia, in Australia and other parts around the world as well.

I have a few facts and figures that might interest the house. Copper is one of South Australia's major export commodities. In 2017, South Australia produced over 260,000 tonnes of copper, worth $2 billion. That represents 17 per cent of the state's goods export value. Australia is a major contributor to world copper stocks, as the world's third largest exporter of copper ores and concentrates, and the seventh largest producer of copper.

Copper royalties will contribute in excess of $80 million to our state's economy in 2017-18, and we expect that to continue to grow. It is not surprising that everybody there was very positive, largely led by increasing international prices and equally led by ever-improving local capacity to get copper out of the ground. We really do lead the world in many ways.

There were international guests who came to attend the conference: Mr Jorge Cantallopts from Chile, Ms Vanessa Davidson from the UK, Mr Hal Stillman from the US, Andrés Pesce Aaron from Chile and Patricio Hidalgo from Singapore. They all spoke at the conference. They were all very pleased to be there, and the information that they shared, and the information that they received from an outstanding line-up of Australian speakers, was tremendous.

The Chilean Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency the Ambassador Patricio Powell Osorio was also there. I have to say that one of the great features of the event was the continuing appreciation for the opportunities to collaborate between South Australia and Chile. It was very clear that we in South Australia have things that the Chilean government really does need to connect with, and vice versa, so that both of our jurisdictions can benefit. Highlights of the conference included market trend indications, which were all very positive, growth of ethical sourcing of copper, and of course OZ Minerals' new venture at Carrapateena.