Article by Henry Ballard courtesy of Australian Mining.
The Western Australian resources sector carried the national economy through an arduous 12 months to June 30, as minerals and petroleum sales grew to $210 billion.
This figure was up $38 billion on the previous financial year with iron ore sales leading the way at $155 billion.
Premier Mark McGowan congratulated the industry on a successful battle with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our efforts to crush the virus quickly and keep our economy and mining industry open has not only benefited Western Australians but the nation more broadly, with WA continuing to provide the largest per capita financial contribution to the Federation,” he said.
Western Australia made up 56.2 per cent of Australia’s goods exports in 2020-21.
Gold sales were up 4 per cent from 2019-20 to 2020-21, valued at $16.6 billion, while nickel sales recorded a seven-year high of $3.5 billion.
Mineral exploration also rose 21 per cent to $2.1 billion, increasing the state’s share of national exploration to 65 per cent.
McGowan said this was a result of his government’s optimism.
“We resisted calls to shut down the resources sector at the height of the pandemic and these results demonstrate the significance of that decision,” McGowan said.
“We have not only protected tens of thousands of Western Australian resources jobs but created an additional 14,400 this financial year.”
Moving forward, the state has a resources project pipeline of $127 billion.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said the state’s outlook post-COVID was promising.
“The sector’s success in trading, largely uninterrupted by the pandemic, has enhanced our global reputation as a reliable and safe supplier, and is set to position WA with a significant competitive advantage as the world’s economy recovers,” Johnston said.