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|It's my privilege to welcome you here this afternoon on behalf of the Sydney Branch of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. This is a most important gathering. You, the delegates, represent what is probably the most influential cross-section of the mining investment community and the oil and gas investment community to meet as a group during the last decade. We are meeting today and tomorrow to review two related issues that will have far reaching implications for the effective use of capital by the natural resources sector in the 1990's. The views which will emerge over the two days will almost certainly 'influence the availability of new capital to the companies in the natural resources sector for the decade ahead. The two principal themes of Minval '89 are, first, the valuation of mining and oil and gas assets and securities, and second, disclosure and reporting requirements in the capital markets which relate specifically to natural resources companies. This conference is taking place at a time when further consolidation and rationalisation appears likely within the mining industry. Although the base metals and other sectors of the industry are enjoying profitability not seen since the early 1980's there is caution about committing to new capacity which could bring about a return to the low prices and excess supply which prevailed during much of the last ten years. These conditions have led to increased takeover activity within the mining industry overseas, and similar trends are as evident here in Australia as they are elsewhere. Recognition of value is therefore likely to become more important than ever before in preserving shareholder wealth, for creating new wealth and for preserving the financial health of the resources industry in the future. Valuation therefore is the first theme of the conference.|