JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Trade data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released this week has again confirmed the importance of the mining industry to the Australian economy and the continuing benefits of the mining boom, the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) said on Friday.
The data shows that in 2017, Australia’s resources exports, including minerals, metals and petroleum, posted a new record high value of A$207-billion and accounted for 53% of Australia’s total goods and services export revenue.
“To put the economic importance of the resources industry into perspective, it generates more export revenue for Australia than all other industries combined,” the MCA said in a statement.
Resources export earnings in 2017 were more than double the value of services exports and four times the value of rural goods exported.
According to the statistics, iron-ore remained Australia’s largest source of export revenue with over A$63-billion of the steelmaking material exported last year, underpinned by improved market prices and growing export volumes.
The record year of export revenues has not just been driven by bulk commodities; gold exports recorded another strong year and generated A$18.3-billion in revenue for Australia, while base metals contributed a further A$25-billion in export earnings.
The minerals industry and mining equipment, technology and services sector continue to provide jobs for over one-million Australians, particularly those in regional areas.
Australia is also poised to seize future opportunities for mineral resources that will come from growth in new consumer, energy and transportation technologies around the world.
“We have extensive resources of the rare-earth elements, base metals, lithium and precious metals that are the essential materials in smart phones, electric vehicles, modern energy systems and industrial machinery,” the MCA statement said.
Australia is already the world’s largest lithium producer, with several new mines and processing facilities under development that will ensure Australia remains a key part of the lithium supply chain for years to come.