Mining earnings hit new record

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Australia‘s energy and mineral export earnings increased by 15 per cent last year to a record $190 billion a year.

The new statistics from the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics said the earnings reflected higher prices for most commodities, and around half of the commodities covered reached higher production compared with 2010.

Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson said the data confirmed the ongoing strength of the mining industry and its contribution to the economy.

BREE said while export earnings had hit record levels the figures had been moderated by the Australian dollar, which was 12 per cent higher in 2011.

Iron ore and pellets saw the biggest rise in earnings, up $10 billion to a total of $59 billion.

Metallurgical coal was up six per cent to $31 billion, while thermal coal takings were up 18 per cent to $16 billion.

Natural gas export also rose 16 per cent to a total of $11 billion.

While most commodities were on the rise steel, manganese, liquefied petroleum gas, and refined silver saw declines.

BREE said while black coal production had been hit by the Queensland floods in late 2010 and early 2011 to decrease by 2 per cent in 2011, the loss was offset by higher prices.

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