A record of $254 billion in sales has been reported for the Western Australian resources sector in the 2022-23 financial year, according to new data released by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. 

The data marked the sixth consecutive year of jobs growth in the sector and revealed that resources sales were up $20 billion on 2021-22, smashing the previous record of $251 billion set in the 2022 calendar year. 

The sector also broke employment records with more than 126,480 full time workers in Western Australia.

Iron ore continued its dominant position with historically high sales of $125 billion supported by record production of 861 million tonnes.

Lithium (spodumene concentrate) achieved all-time high sales of $21 billion on the back of record prices and expanding production, making it Western Australia’s second most valuable mineral. 

The value of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) surged to $56 billion, almost $18 billion more than 2021-22, and $2 billion more than the previous high set in 2022.

Gold (a record $18.6 billion), nickel ($5.7 billion, among the highest levels in the past 15 years), domestic gas (an all-time high of $2.5 billion) and salt sales (a record $714 million) all reflected the strength of the resources sector.

The value of some other major commodities remained steady including condensate ($8.6 billion), alumina ($6.7 billion), and mineral sands ($1.4 billion).

Investors poured more than $27 billion into mining and petroleum projects, the highest level of investment for a calendar or financial year since 2015-16.

Mineral exploration expenditure in Western Australia was valued at $2.5 billion, a new financial year high. Gold, iron ore and critical minerals were all popular targets.

Western Australian Premier, Roger Cook, said that Western Australian jobs are the number one priority, and that the resources sector continues to underpin the state’s economic strength.

“Every Western Australian can be proud of the success of our resources sector, and the massive contribution it makes to the national economy,” Mr Cook said. 

“As the world moves to a low-carbon future, we’re positioning Western Australia as a renewable energy powerhouse – and our record lithium sales show we’re on the right track.

Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Johnston, said that Western Australia’s resources sector continues to underpin the state’s success as one of the fastest growing developed economies over the past 20 years.

“It’s especially pleasing to see that investors continue to view Western Australia as a stable, reliable and forward-looking business partner,” Mr Johnston said. 

“The future looks promising too, our world-class resources sector has an estimated $55 billion worth of projects under construction or committed in Western Australia.”

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