News: The exploration division of Anglo-Australian mining company Rio Tinto and resources company Australian Pacific Coal are reported to have started exploration work at their Mount Hillalong joint venture coal project in Queensland, Australia, Energy Business Review reports. As part of the deal, Rio Tinto will carry out exploration work at the site before deciding whether to acquire a 75% stake in the project. A detailed drilling programme is thought to be underway .
BMI View: Despite the cooling of the mining boom, Australia will remain a leading player in many segments of the global mining industry. We expect the value of the mining sector to reach US$107bn by 2017, growing at an annual average rate of 4.3% over our forecast period. This will see the mining sector's share of GDP increasing from 5.6% in 2012 to 7.6% in 2017.