Just as the mining boom is supposed to be winding down, broking and research house Lonsec has hired three new resource sector analysts.
"We would hire more if we could," Lonsec chief executive officer David Wylie said.
"At a time when many industry participants are reducing their dealings with the mining sector, we believe this represents the perfect opportunity for Lonsec to further enhance our broking capabilities."
Mr Wylie points to the recent rise in iron ore prices, increases in export volumes and the sheer size of the resources industry - about a third of the dollar value of Australia's exports - as reasons to have faith in its continued strength.
"We've seen commentary around `is the mining boom over' - we believe it is not over," he said.
Spot iron ore prices have recovered from a mid-year low of around $US110 a tonne to $US132 a tonne at present and export volumes are forecast to rise - as evidenced by BHP Billiton's recent upgrade to 2013/14 production guidance.
BHP shares have risen sharply since the global miner reported a 23 per cent year-on-year rise in iron ore production for the September quarter as well as record petroleum production.
Also supporting Mr Wylie's optimism is the September quarter resources and energy outlook from the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE).
BREE reported that while Australia's earnings from energy and mineral commodities fell eight per cent to $177 billion between 2011/12 and 2012/13, export earnings for those commodities are forecast to increase 15 per cent in 2013/14 due to higher volumes and a lower exchange rate.
The BREE report concludes that the outlook for Australia's mineral and energy exports "remains positive".
"Although prices for most commodities are expected to moderate over the outlook period, the projected substantial growth in export volumes of Australia's key commodities will support growth in export earnings," it states.
BREE says mineral commodities earnings should peak in 2014/15, with energy commodity exports to take over as principal drivers of export earnings.
Mr Wylie said Lonsec will conduct research across the sector, ranging from large- to small-cap companies, and will also provide capital raising services.
Continued price strength in coal, iron ore and gas may also result in renewed interest in the exploration sector.
During the mining boom the mining services sector was considered a safe exposure to the growth opportunities available.
Jobs have been hard hit across mining and mining services - 16,000 workers lost their jobs in the year to June according to BREE - but Mr Wylie expects a longer-term turnaround.
"We feel there is a good 18-month to two-year story that potentially some of these organisations will be better placed," he said.