High living costs blight mining sector

The booming mining sector has been a major reason behind Australia's impressive economic growth at the start of 2012.

However, there are fears that the astronomical cost of living in mineral-rich parts of the country could pose long-term problems.

Marius Kloppers – chief executive of BHP Billiton - believes that future projects could be scuppered because workers are unwilling to move to regions where everyday items cost a fortune, the Associated Press reports.

People living in Western Australia may be earning big money, but many are still racking up huge credit card bills in order to maintain their lifestyle.

Mr Kloppers said a cup of coffee in this part of Australia costs $5.20 – which is 150 per cent more than notoriously expensive London.

Property prices are understandably much higher in such regions and this in itself is putting a lot of people off relocating. With this in mind, there are fears that talented miners and engineers will be hard to find.

"Labour mobility is probably, long-term, as important as labour productivity," Mr Kloppers remarked.

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