WA’s mining sector worth $121.6 billion

Data released by the Department of Mines and Petroleum has valued Western Australia’s mineral and petroleum industry in 2013-14 at $121.6 billion, a 20 per cent increase on last year.

Figures show that iron ore remained the highest valued resource, with a record $73.7 billion in sales.

The DMP said project expansions and strong Chinese demand resulted in a 23 per cent increase in iron ore exports to 631 million tonnes. This resulted in a 31 per cent value increase.

Gold, copper, lead, salt and diamonds also saw solid increases in 2013-14.

Gold totalled sales of $8.8 billion making it WA’s second most valuable mineral.

This is followed by alumina at $4.2 billion, and nickel at $3.5 billion.

A new record was also set for LNG which increased sales by more than $1.9 billion to $14.4 billion.

As at September 2014, WA had an estimated $160 billion worth of resource projects under construction or in the committed stage of development meaning the state retained its status as Australia’s leading region for mining investment.

A further $108 billion has been allocated to planned or possible projects over the next few years.

Despite a number of job cuts and a continuing fall in the price of iron ore, the DMP said it expects mining to remain strong.

“The dominance of the resources sector in the nation’s economy is expected to continue given the number of projects which have been expanded or developed, in particular iron ore and LNG,” it said.

China remains WA’s major trading partner, taking 54 per cent of merchandise exports and is followed by Japan at 18 per cent, then South Korea at eight per cent.

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