In the wake of the Wikileaks diplomatic cables release, nickel and manganese reserves in Western Australia have been shown to be of higher importance to the US than Australian military installations.
The cables stated the vital importance of the minerals to the US, while high security military installations such as Pine Gap are not mentioned in the reports on international assets vital to the country’s global security.
Ordered by Washington D.C. in February 2009, the cables indentified vital infrastructure and resources "whose loss could critically impact the public health, economic security, and/or national and homeland security of the United States".
It outlined the importance of the manganese for constructing batteries, and of its hand in Australian metallurgical grade nickel mines.
According to The West, the US Geological Survey had found the ore mined within the Pilbara is some of the best quality mineral in the world.