THERE are plenty of opportunities for the mining industry but they won't be realised in the face of ``animosity,'' Tasmanian Minerals Council executive director Terry Long said yesterday.
Mr Long spoke about the challenges the industry faced at the council's business forum held at the Inveresk Tram Sheds.
He said there were two key issues:
1. Uncertainty over the Bell Bay area.
2. The matter of the environmental movement towards additional reserves and ``antagonism towards the industry in general.''
Mr Long said the future of Bell Bay was ``clouded.''
``You wouldn't want to contemplate a Northern Tasmania economy without Temco and Bell Bay Aluminium,'' he said.
Mr Long said the company's difficulties came down to three elements - rising costs across the board as a result of inflationary pressures, poor market conditions such as poor aluminium prices and the high Australian dollar and the impending carbon tax coupled with costs of the mandated energy renewable scheme.
Despite the carbon tax coming into effect on July 12, Mr Long said businesses were already accounting for the costs of the tax by offsetting to the consumer.
He said the smelter's high skill base would help in the long run but it would be tough with many of the factors damaging business ``externalities.''
``I just hope the state government is talking to the commonwealth government of the severity of the situation,'' he said.
Bell Bay Aluminium general manager Ray Mostogl also spoke at the forum.