The Australian energy & resources sector has always been a stalwart for the Australian economy. Self-sufficient, the sector consistently punches above its weight and stabilises our economy.
High global demand, new mining projects and expansions have created opportunity in the sector – from a global perspective there is continued growth in iron ore, natural gas, and coal markets. Yet, the mining industry has been forced to overcome many challenges as business models adapt to disruption and operational models shift as we move towards a growing net zero economy. Balancing its role in the energy transition discussion and supporting domestic and international supply of critical metals and minerals, like lithium, requires deep industry expertise.
Yet supply and demand fluctuations and disrupted reliability continue to impact energy prices while we build scale in the renewables space. Wind and sun are plentiful in Australia, as are the inputs into batteries. However, businesses operating in the renewable energy sector must navigate a range of changing issues, obligations, and opportunities. You can learn more about our renewable energy capabilities here.
To achieve net zero and a future transition away from fossil fuels, Australian companies need to leverage their investments in technology to allow for more advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence to improve efficiency, safety, compliance, and drive innovation.
Depending on where you are in the journey, the challenges and opportunities facing those operating in the energy and resources markets are unique, and the circumstances can vary significantly. We’re here to support you at all stages of the life cycle to navigate challenges, leverage opportunities and incentives.
Top trends in Energy & Resources
Issues impacting businesses in Energy & Resources
Cutting through the complexity of compliance
Whether you’re generating alternative energy sources or transitioning from mining exploration to production, each organisation and its circumstances will be unique. As you respond to new market demands both here and overseas, it’s important to have a handle on your obligations and requirements. Whether it’s tax, audit or risk, we cut through the compliance and complexity.
A sector supported by strong M&A activity
Despite the increasing investment in a knowledge-based service economy, the resources sector is thriving, and M&A activity is a driving force in the sector now. But with significant growth in Australia’s energy sector, greater regulation and reporting requirements follow, and equity and debt funding, valuations and financial modelling will be more important than ever. Companies with a technology focus will drive activity into the future, as critical and other rare earth minerals are essential to clean-energy technologies such as batteries, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and solar panels.
Trends in export and trade agreements
While global demand for traditional resources continues due to increasing construction, manufacturing and clean energy activity, high energy prices will remain until alternative supply solutions are found, or geopolitical tensions end. In an industry heavily reliant on global economic conditions, it’s crucial to be supported by a Government negotiating or renegotiating free trade agreements. Australia has signed free trade agreements with the UK and India, significant export markets that are anticipated to boost export activity. Reach out to understand what opportunities you can leverage to enter new markets.
Increased focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) transparency
ESG issues are high on the agenda. While there is no current regulatory requirement in Australia, there are growing expectations for organisations to report on what they are doing in the ESG space. It’s important for Boards and Management to develop a response aligned to their organisation and implemented as a part of their overall strategy.
R&D and commercialising the next great idea
New ways of doing things and innovative products have evolved out of businesses trying to do more with less and finding ways to differentiate themselves in a crowded global market. With sovereign capability and supply chain resilience high on State and Federal agendas, we’re seeing a range of grants and funds available to support manufacturers to scale up, innovate, invest, and create new jobs. We understand how to leverage the innovation lifecycle and can support you to take a great idea to the next level.
Mastering technology to derive economic value
Spanning across software, automation, machine learning and more, technology has become an instrumental part of process optimisation in energy and resources. Resources, including critical and other rare earth minerals are the backbone of many low-emission technologies. As upfront capital investment to adopt these often-disruptive technologies continues to fall, organisations must find efficiencies across engineering, design, material waste, better affordability to attract interest from investors. This enables organisations to remain competitive, focus on the right projects, value-add, and derive economic benefit with scalability.
Cyber security issues and fraud risks rising
Data protection is critical to all businesses. Recent data breaches have signified the importance of cyber security and operational resilience. Having a strong strategy in place to prevent, minimise and rectify customer data loss is more crucial than ever. This should be front of mind for Directors and Boards not only from an IP and release of data perspective, but also due to these incidents getting receiving media attention and scrutiny, often resulting in loss of public and shareholder confidence.
Native title and Indigenous royalties
Australian states and territories continue to implement reforms and restructures of their Native Title frameworks and policies. New sites and projects will need to be cognisant of Native Title rights and consult with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement with the traditional custodians of the land and continue the push toward greater efficiencies in the Native Title process.
Guiding you through the stages of the mining life cycle
The transition from exploration to production is an exciting journey, however it can be extremely challenging. For each company, the challenges are unique and the circumstances can vary significantly depending on where you are in the journey. To help you navigate the myriad of challenges along your journey, this guide highlights the primary accounting, tax, and finance areas that companies must consider during these stages.
Subscribe to receive our publications
Subscribe now to be kept up-to-date with timely and relevant insights, unique to the nature of your business, your areas of interest and the industry in which you operate.