NEW statistics show WA’s resources sector improved last financial year on the back of iron ore and gold sales, despite widespread market volatility.
The Mineral and Petroleum Industry 2012-13 Review by the WA Mines and Petroleum (DMP) department found iron ore and gold accounted for 84 per cent or $65.3 billion of all mineral sales in 2012-2013.
Fuelled by a strong international demand, particularly from China, iron ore was the state’s strongest seller for the period, with 73 per cent of total sales at $56.4 billion.
According to the report, the falling Australian dollar helped the sector cope with falling commodity prices, which resulted in 513 million tonnes of iron ore exports; a 13 per cent increase on the previous year.
The only downside was an overall drop in the iron ore price, which influenced actual 7.3 per cent drop in the value of sales.
WA Mines and Petroleum minister Bill Marmion said the results proved that the reduction of red and green tape and improved efficiencies had positively impacted the sector.
“What this means is jobs, jobs, jobs for West Australians,” he said.
“I am working with DMP to drive down costs and attract ongoing resources investment into WA, for the benefit of West Australians.
“WA has also recently extended Program of Works validity from two to four years and we continue to offer two rounds of government co-funding a year to projects – supporting more than 320,000m of exploration drilling in the past five years.
“Our state maintained its ranking in the Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies during 2012-2013, achieving the highest ranking in Australia and the 15th best exploration destination in the world – which is impressive.”
The DMP figures also showed WA was the top state for mining investment in 2012 and 2013, attracting 51 per cent of total national capital spending valued at a record $95 billion.
Strong foreign commodities demand has fuelled new capital mining expenditure at an annual rate of 23 per cent during the five years to 2012-2013.
WA has $146 billion worth of resource projects under construction or at the committed stage of development, while a further $97 billion has been identified as planned or possible projects for the future.