Iron ore production in Western Australia has increased by 3.8% to 152 million tonnes in the September 2013 quarter, which exceeds its highest quarterly production record, according to a new report from the Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME).
The report also revealed that Western Australia saw a 6.2% decline in total resources exploration spending in the September quarter.
Gold production in the state increased by 1.1% above the previous quarter, while nickel production declined by 2.3%, reflecting the current weak price.
CME chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said the quarter saw increases in prices of all commodities surveyed, except uranium.
Howard-Smith noted that the quarter had experienced a modest growth nationally, with GDP increases of 0.6% with mining production, including oil and gas, increasing by 2.7%. Non-mining sectors of the economy grew only 0.2%.
"The report is a timely reminder to all, that the health of the national economy remains reliant on the continued growth of the resources sector," Howard-Smith said.
"Unlike previous quarters the decline in expenditure was driven by a decrease in petroleum exploration, which fell by 10.6%."
CME said the report takes a spotlight look at regulatory reform in the Western Australian resources sector and the importance of ensuring that its approvals system is effective and efficient to maintain international competitiveness.
The commodity analysis for the latest edition focuses on nickel and the challenges facing producers.
"Given the Indonesian Government’s recent announcement of a ban on the export of all unprocessed minerals, an examination of the nickel market will be of interest to readers," Howard-Smith added.