Western Australia’s mining industry has continued to thrive off record commodity sales and prices, reporting a boost in employment numbers that reached unseen levels.
The figures for the 2018-2019 period were revealed in the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety’s latest statistic release, which highlighted a significant year for the state’s mining sector.
It included a period in which the average number of individuals employed in the minerals sector surged to 124,010, up from 112,008 in the previous year.
This comes off the back of a record-breaking year in which iron sales reached an all-time high of $78.2 billion, which was replicated in gold sales that reached almost $12 billion, marking yet another record achievement.
Sales were helped by unprecedented demand for both commodities, reflected in the Australian dollar gold price averaging $1958 in June, marking the first time it has broken through the $1900 mark in history.
Mines and petroleum minister Bill Johnstone said the figures represented the state government’s increased investment in the sector.
“These record figures across the mining sector reflect the strength of the McGowan Government’s commitment to supporting industry investment in Western Australia and creating jobs,” he said.
“State government initiatives such as the Exploration Incentive Scheme and Streamline WA, which is improving regulatory practice, is helping the resources industry succeed.”
Figures also revealed that alumina and bauxite sales reached a record $8.3 billion following increases in bauxite exports.
It was a combination of these commodities that contributed to Western Australia’s mineral and petroleum industry reporting record sales of $145 billion.
The bulk of the $30 billion increase on the 2017-2018 period was the result of improved iron ore prices and increasing liquified natural gas (LNG) volumes as projects continued to move towards capacity.
This was highlighted by LNG sales increasing more than 50 per cent to reach almost $29 billion for the period.