ASX chief's comments spark mining debate

WILL Australia's mining industry be booming come 2020?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Reported comments from Australian Securities Exchange chief executive Elme Funke Kupper lit up news websites over the weekend after Mr Kupper said the return of the national boom times was about seven years away.

Professor Tim Robinson of the Queensland University of Technology labelled Mr Kupper's claims as a stab in the dark.

He described seven as a magical number often used to predict the up and down cycles of housing and mining.

During his speech on Friday to the Queensland Exploration Breakfast, Mr Kupper said while seemingly endless chatter about good times now passed was worthwhile, there had to be a focus on the future.

"It takes at least seven years to get a mine up and running from when the discovery takes place," Mr Kupper said.

"What we do now shows up in the economy in the alter part of this decade and next."

Prof Robinson said there was no way of predicting so far into the future for mining.

"There may well be forecasters who have arrived at that conclusion but others would have arrived at the opposite conclusion."

The acting dean of the school said it was important for each company to make decisions based on their future forecasts, but "they may be right, they may be wrong".

"Every business has to make its best guess on how it will unfold," Prof Robinson said.

"That's what those mining companies are doing."

Mr Kupper's speech also included a wide-ranging discussion on the new Asian White Paper announced by the Prime Minister and reportedly suggested a $150 million Federally-funded tax credit scheme for mineral explorers.

Mr Kupper was unavailable for comment on Monday.

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