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Australian Mine Project Spending Falls 5% as Boom Wanes

May 28 (Bloomberg) -- The value of mineral and energy projects being developed in Australia, the world’s biggest iron ore exporter, fell 5 percent to A$229 billion ($212 billion) as investment continued its downturn.

“While the investment cycle has peaked, Australia is now moving into a period of significant increases in the production of resources and energy commodities,” the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics’ Deputy Executive Director Wayne Calder said today in its twice-yearly report on project investment. At Oct. 31, the value of projects was A$240 billion, it said.

Miners including BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group have cut spending after a $250 billion capital investment spree, ditching expansion projects in response to falling commodity prices. While the investment cycle has peaked, Australia is now moving into a period of significant increases in commodity production, the bureau said.

A total of 8 projects worth a combined A$12.8 billion moved to the committed stage in the six months to April, led by Hancock Prospecting Pty’s Roy Hill iron ore project, valued at A$10.7 billion, the Canberra-based bureau said.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Stringer in Melbourne at dstringer3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net Keith Gosman, Madelene Pearson

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