Welcome to the latest issue of MINE Australia.

In this issue, we consider the logical end point of the increasingly common phenomenon of resource nationalism, that one country’s defence sector will become directly involved in another’s mining sector. In this case, the US Department of Defense has pushed for new legislation to enable it to invest in Australian mines, as the US looks to secure a supply of critical minerals independent from China. 

Moves such as these could provide unique opportunities. Australian mines, for instance, could benefit from greater funding and refining and processing facilities, and be assured of a long-term customer in the US military, as national security will never not be a priority for the US. The only question is whether these projects will remain innocent enough mining facilities, or whether increasing US involvement in foreign industries will trigger a response from its rivals. 

Elsewhere, we ask what lessons can be learned from some of the biggest stories in Australian mining. From a legal loophole at the proposed Williams Bay mine to Australian miners’ endlessly strained relationship with indigenous groups, plenty of mistakes have been made across the sector, and all that remains is for decision-makers to learn from them. 

We also consider the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and Ukraine crisis on Australian mining, look ahead to the impacts of the recent election on the sector, and speak to Ardea about the major project status offered to its Kalgoorlie nickel mine.

For all this and more, read on.

JP Casey, editor