Christmas Island is an Australian Territory located in the Indian Ocean some 2,500km north east of Perth. The island has a delicate ecosystem and is home to many species of flora and fauna that cannot be found elsewhere on Earth. 63% of the island is national park and it is only developed for urban purposes along the eastern coast, with a population of 1,500. The main and dominant industry on the island is phosphate mining, the leases of which are administered by Christmas Island Phosphates, a 70% community owned company. Estimates indicate that, should further mining leases not be granted, mining operations will cease in 3-5 years.
SGS was commissioned by Phosphate Resources Limited and Tallegalla Consultants to outline the likely economic impacts associated with the granting or non-granting of further phosphate mining leases on Christmas Island (outside the national park boundary). The economic impact report was part of a wider Environmental Impact Statement required to accompany the mining applications. The report's economic component documented economic and social impacts on Christmas Island and the broader economic and social impacts on the Australian economy associated with the granting or non-granting of the mining leases. The report also included discussions on opportunities for diversification and re-skilling CIP employees.