Mining companies in New South Wales have employed 1,967 fewer workers in 2013 to 2014 compared with the previous year, despite investing $13.6bn into the Australian state, according to a survey.
The latest Expenditure Survey conducted by NSW Minerals Council states that the 22 mining companies surveyed invested almost one billion more than the $12.8bn in the previous year.
During the period, $2.9bn was spent on wages for 21,516 full-time employees while $9.6bn was used for transactions with 8,202 local businesses, to make community contributions and payments to local government.
Hunter region emerged as the 'beating heart of the state's mining sector', and the report indicated that the region had attracted $5.9bn of investment, which is 43% of the direct expenditure in the NSW mining sector.
Sydney attracted $3.3bn of investment between 2013 and 2014, which is about 25% of the total amount for the state, the report said.
SW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said: "Most people don't realise that Sydney is a significant mining region, but the reality is that there are many suburbs of Sydney, particularly in Western Sydney, that benefit from mining.
Companies in the mining supply chain have fallen by 2,000 to 8,202, due to tough margins and business conditions.
Stephen Galilee said: "Lost mining jobs and fewer mining supply businesses show that when mining is hurting, the rest of the economy hurts too.
"Yet despite the tough times, our sector continues to be an essential pillar of regional economies across NSW, contributing 28% of gross regional product (GRP) in the Hunter, 14.4% in the Illawarra, and 12.1% in the Central West of NSW."
Image: Hunter region has attracted a maximum investment of $5.9bn. Photo: courtesy of Peter Firminger / Wikipedia.