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Simon Tanner reflects on the mining industry in Western Australia

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Simon Tanner lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland. After studying history and politics at the University of Berne, he completed a degree course in editorial photography at the Swiss School of Journalism MAZ in Lucerne. Currently, besides the work as a staff photographer for the Swiss daily newspaper NZZ, he pursues his own projects. In the years 2012 and 2018, he was awarded with the Swiss Press Photo prize in Zurich. Since 2017, he has been working as a lecturer at F+F School for Art and Media Design and is president of the vfg Association for creative photographers in Zurich.

The photographer often shows an inclination for reportage in which he likes to document the totality of the matter, as well as paying attention at details and their characteristics.

About ‘Too Much Luck’ – words by Simon Tanner:

The mining industry is primarily responsible for the economic growth in Australia in the last few years – caused by strong demand in the Asian region for mineral raw materials. The main mining area of iron ore, the source material for steel, is located in Western Australia, where one-fifth of the world reserves are suspected. With just under one inhabitant per square kilometer, the region is one of the most sparsely populated in the world. The regional economy is dominated by mining: although only seven percent of the population works in this sector, they provide a quarter of the overall economic performance. A quick end of the boom is not in sight, the occurrences are still sufficient for 30 to 80 years, depending on estimates.

Therefore, new projects are planned and realized on an ongoing basis. Its short-term financing is not a problem, but the long-term costs – ecological, economic and also social ones – are ignored.

The series focuses on the social aspects of the iron ore business in Western Australia. The title of the report is taken from the book published in 2011 by the Australian journalist Paul Cleary, in which he criticized today’s political and economic handling of the commodity boom. He referred to the description of Australia as “the lucky country” by Donald Horne in 1964.

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Reportage James Price Point, Kimberley WA

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Reportage James Price Point, Kimberley WA

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Reportage James Price Point, Kimberley WA

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Time to read
3 min
Words by
Staff
Published on
5 September 2019
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