WA posts bumper resource year

13th April 2022 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

WA posts bumper resource year

Photo by: Bloomberg

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Western Australia’s resources industry was worth a record A$230-billion in revenue in 2021, the state government revealed this week.

Resources sales for 2021 were up 30%, or A$53-billion, from 2020, based on the latest annual data released by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

Resources sector employment continued its strong performance with a record average of 156 238 jobs, a significant 10.8%, or 15 298, increase compared to 2020.

The strong performance of Western Australia's resources sector underpinned the state's goods exports, rising to a record 52.3% share of the value of national goods exports in 2021.

The resources sector's record performance has resulted in billions of dollars in additional revenue flowing to the Commonwealth and other States throughout the pandemic, as highlighted in the recent Federal Budget, the government said.

"Western Australia has carried the nation through the pandemic. The state's Covid-19 management has kept the economy open and strong - with record jobs and sales for our resources sector during 2021,” said Premier Mark McGowan.

"My government has worked hard to ensure the industry continues to operate given its sizeable contribution to both the State and national economies. There are now more people working in the resources sector than ever before - with a record average of 156 238 jobs for 2021.

"Throughout the past two years, my government has always been focused on saving lives and protecting jobs, and these latest results show that our approach has been the correct one.

"All states and the Commonwealth have benefited from Western Australia's performance with respect to Covid-19 and the economy - with a surge in revenue to the nation when it needed it most. For instance, the Commonwealth receives more than double the revenue from company tax from the iron-ore mining sector than Western Australia receives in royalties."

The continued operation of the resources sector, despite the global Covid-19 pandemic, saw iron-ore sales surge to an unprecedented A$157-billion given high prices and supply interruptions in competing markets.

The gold industry continued its stellar run with more than A$16-billion in sales underpinned by strong prices as economic and geopolitical uncertainty continued, while lithium sales soared to an all-time high of A$2.6-billion, a three-fold increase, while nickel sales grew to A$3.7-billion, the highest value since 2012.

The petroleum sector, which includes liquefied natural gas, condensate, crude oil, domestic gas and liquefied petroleum gas, recovered to achieve sales of A$39-billion, up from A$27-billion in 2020.

A five-year high of more than A$22-billion was invested across the sector during 2021 and around A$156-billion of resources projects are in the pipeline. 

"Western Australia's resources industry continued to deliver impressive results across key sectors and commodities, despite facing a challenging year,” said Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston.

"The government is working hard to ensure these results continue to power the state and national economies. It is especially pleasing to see the resources sector create jobs and drive growth in regional communities.

"Western Australia's remarkable range of critical and battery minerals, including lithium and nickel, will play a big part in our future success as the world transitions to clean energy."