The mining industry’s contribution to Australia’s economic prosperity has been highlighted by the latest trade statistics which show strong year on year growth in export earnings from Australia’s key minerals commodities.
Australian Bureau of Statistics trade data issued today exports of iron ore were worth AUS$5.39 billion in February, an increase of 53% compared to February last year.
Coal exports in the month were valued at AUS$4.26 billion, an increase of 76% over the year, while exports of gold were worth AUS$1.38 billion, up 55% compared to a year earlier.
While Cyclone Debbie’s aftermath may cause some disruptions to Queensland coal shipments in the coming period, the latest figures show coal exports in the first eight months of 2016-17 have already reached close to the level achieved over the full 2015-16 financial year.
The increases in export earnings reflect higher prices for key commodities on global markets and the Australian mining industry’s role as a major exporter to key Asian markets.
The investment phase of the mining boom has underwritten an expansion in production which, in turn, is making a major contribution to Australian economic growth.
The latest trade figures follow recent research estimating that the Australian mining and mining, equipment and technology services (METS) sectors together generated more than US$236 billion in value added, or 15% of Australia’s economy, in 2015-16.
The research, by Deloitte Access Economics, also showed that the mining and METS sectors supported more than 1.1 million Australian jobs – or around one in every ten jobs – in 2015-16.