Mining activity

Western Australia’s (WA) mineral and Petroleum industry was valued at around A$102bn ($98bn) in 2012/13, even though the value of the sector fell by 3.8% from 2011/12, according to a new report from the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP).

DMP said the value was the second highest on record and the third consecutive year above A$100bn ($96bn).

Western Australia Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said the statistics reveal that WA’s resources industry remained better on the back of good government support to reduce red and green tape, and improve efficiencies.

The report showed that iron-ore remained the state’s highest value commodity, accounting for A$56.4bn ($54b.5n), or 73%, of total mineral sales.

Iron ore and gold together accounted for A$65.3bn ($63.1bn), or 84%, of all mineral sales in 2012-13.

The gold price continued to increase in the first half of 2012-13, but started to decline in December 2012 and continued its downward trend to June 2013.

The decline in the price of gold resulted in total sales of just under $9bn for 2012-13, a decline of 4.6% over the previous financial year.

Marmion said the government would continue to work to ensure WA remained competitive.

"I am working with DMP to drive down costs and attract ongoing resources investment into WA, for the benefit of West Australians," he said.

Plans include the recent introduction of the state’s first fund for the rehabilitation of abandoned mine sites.

The Mining Rehabilitation Fund has the potential to return over A$1bn ($96m) in financial institution-held bonds to companies.

"Upholding environmental standards and improving efficiency, 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," Marmion said.

Image: Iron-ore remained the WA’s highest value commodity, accounting for $54.5bn of total mineral sales. Photo: Courtesy of the Government of Western Australia.

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