WA mining industry worth $90 billion

Western Australia’s mining and petroleum industry has skyrockted in value since 2009, reaching a record $91.6 billion in 2010.

The State’s Department of Mines and Petroleum has released figures showing iron ore’s position as WA’s most valuable resource, accounting for more than half of all mineral and petroleum sales in 2010, bringing in $48.5 billion.

“Recently completed iron ore projects and expansions to existing mines helped boost the State’s iron ore output by 10 per cent to 391 million tonnes,” WA minister for mines Norman Moore said.

He went on to say that the gold sector has also seen a massive jump of 35% over 2009, reaching nearly $7.8 billion.

This growth was due to the consistently increasing gold price, which averaged around US$ 1224 per ounce, a jump of 26% from 2009 prices.

On the back of this increased commodity price, gold output grew by a quarter to 5.9 million ounces.

“Iron ore, petroleum, and gold continue to drive strong economic growth in WA and together account for 87% or $79 billion of all mineral and petroleum sales in 2010,” Moore said.

Due to the increased output and commodity prices, 2010 mining and petroleum exports accounted for 91% of Western Australia’s total merchandise export earnings.

Moore added that export earnings reached an impressive $100 billion for the first time.

He went on to say that “WA’s resources industry is expected to grow strongly in 2011 and beyond with more than $250 billion earmarked for development and expansions in major mining and petroleum projects.”

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