Will Rinehart's Roy Hill project stabilise the Aussie mining sector?
The Roy Hill iron ore mine in the Pilbara region is set to ship its initial freight.
Owner Gina Rinehart, the nation’s richest person, has based her project on a vertically integrated pit-to-port business strategy utilising a mine, rail and port system. The railway features a wide array of state-of-the-art technology, including a communication-based automatic train protection system to improve safety.
The $10 billion operation in Western Australia has received $7.8 billion in funding from commercial lenders and export credit agencies, but has drawn skepticism due to a slump in prices as well as its timing.
After being unable to meet its initial goal of Sept. 30 goal for its first shipment, there was rampant speculation was struggling with major construction and logistical issues. However, millions of tonnes of ore accumulated prior to its official start date gave the operation an essential source of revenue during the delay.
RELATED TOPIC: Roy Hill leads the way into new era of iron ore mining
But the news isn’t all good in the Aussie mining industry. A report from Mining Global indicates the sector may lose nearly 20,000 jobs by the end of 2018, with mining investments set to drop by 58 per cent over the next three years.
A prospering Roy Hill mine may be exactly what the Australian economy needs. Mining investments in Australia have fallen 11 per cent since 2014, and approximately 40,000 jobs have been cut over that span.
RELATED TOPIC: Inside the Making of Roy Hill
“We haven’t hit bottom yet on commodity prices or investment, which will continue to be a key drag on Australian economic growth from here,” said Adrian Hart, senior manager at BIS Shrapnel. “While mining production will rise strongly, led by new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, this growth will be far less employment intensive than the investment phase, albeit offering contractor opportunities for maintenance and facilities management.
“The persistent drag from falling mining investment has important ramifications for the economy. Quite simply, Australia badly needs new investment drivers beyond mining to provide sustainable growth in jobs and incomes.”
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.