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Australia investment in new mine projects at record $343b

Published on Nov 28, 2012 7:21 AM

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Investment committed to Australian resource projects rose by nearly A$8 billion (S$10.3 billion) in the six months to the end of October, while the number of projects declined, in part underscoring rising construction and labour costs in Australia's resources sector amid weakening demand.

Committed investment in major resources and energy projects in Australia increased to A$268.4 billion according at Oct 31 from A$260.8 billion recorded at the end of April, government figures released on Wednesday show.

"Looking forward, any substantial net increase to the dollar value of committed projects will require either cost increases to larger, existing projects and/or a new final investment decision on a large project within the coming year," said Professor Quentin Grafton, executive director of Australia's Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (Bree).

The number of projects at the committed stage of the investment pipeline has declined by 11 since April 2012 release because of completions, Mr Grafton said in a statement.

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