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In February this year we released the KPMG Global Risks and Opportunities in Mining — 2020 Outlook. This report incorporated feedback from mining executives around the world, including Australia. Since its release, the global health and economic events of 2020 have unfolded and have raised additional challenges and significant impacts to the global economy. The mining sector has not been exempt from these challenges although the impacts to the mining industry have been far more limited. Now at the mid-point of 2020, it's timely to revisit this report and consider the risks in the context of Australian mine operators for the 2021 financial year and beyond.

Each year, KPMG International researchers survey a sample of global mining executives to uncover what risks are top of mind for the mining sector. The results, and KPMG’s analysis of them, form the basis of our firm’s annual Global Mining Risk Survey – a report recognised as a key piece of thought leadership for the sector.

When we conducted the 2020 Global Mining Risk Survey in November last year, COVID–19 had not been broadly recognised as the global threat we now know it to be. Profound change has occurred since then and, as we’d expect, responding to the challenges of a global pandemic has driven the mining sector’s immediate planning, decision making, and risk mitigation actions.

The risks created by the global COVID-19 pandemic have been broad and varied. Most obviously there has been the impact on the physical and mental health of the mining workforce and mining communities. There have also been challenges in managing mining sector supplier and liquidity risk. Then there are what might be thought of as less obvious issues, such as ensuring cyber risk is more closely addressed and managed given the increasing numbers of people working remotely. In turn, these factors have been cast against a background of global recessionary risk to commodity prices and ongoing market volatility.

This Australian Mining Risk Forecast for 2020/2021 takes the above considerations into account and provides an accurate lens to keep risk considerations for the mining sector as at the start of the new financial year.

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