Mining’s value to Australia hits new heights

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show the mining industry has contributed 8.8 per cent of the country’s gross value in 2017–18, a figure around 87 per cent higher than 1994–95 levels (4.7 per cent).

The ABS figures were part of a wider report on Australia’s economy, which grew by 2.8 per cent to $1.8 trillion in 2017–18 for its 27th consecutive year of growth.

In the same time period, mining grew as an industry by 2.9 per cent in 2017–18. Both of these growth figures were above the 10-year average of 2.6 per cent.

“The annual growth rate is consistent with the quarterly growth rates published for the June quarter,” said ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane cited the growth of the coal and gas sectors — particularly liquefied natural gas (LNG) — as reasons for the growth reported by the ABS.

From the quarter ending June 1998 to the quarter ending June 2018, ABS reported a jump in national coal mining output from $11.4 billion to $65.6 billion. Likewise, gas output grew in the same period from just $3 billion to $46.5 billion

“The good news is, the resources industry is still creating jobs for people now, and for decades to come,” Macfarlane said.

“In the past 12 months the Queensland resources industry has added 10, 000 new jobs — or a new job every 40 minutes. And resources account for 80 per cent of Queensland’s exports.

“The latest ABS study points to the fact that the increase in mining investment in recent years will lead to higher levels of mining production.”

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