Mining exploration and service companies hit by coronavirus restrictions
ABC - Border closures, falling exchange rates and a loss of investor confidence triggered by the coronavirus pandemic have led to project closures and staff lay-offs in the mining sector.
While a steady stream of iron ore and coal exports is holding up the economy, the small end of the sector has been rocked by the crisis.
The closure of state borders has forced many interstate crews to return home, while economic chaos abroad has pushed some commodity prices lower.
Warren Pearce, chief executive of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC), said many companies had suffered steep losses on the stock exchange and were looking at a six-month period of no work due to travel restrictions and loss of investment.