Mineral and petroleum production in Western Australia had risen to about $15 billion over the last year, Mines Minister Kevin Minson said today.
Mr Minson said the information was contained in the Department of Minerals and Energy's annual report which was tabled in Parliament this week.
"A large portion of the State's wealth is produced both directly and indirectly by these two sectors and, as this year's figures show, they are continuing to perform strongly," he said.
"According to the figures contained in the report, the mining and petroleum industries' production has increased by seven per cent over the previous year."
The department's annual report also showed that:
· mineral royalties collections for 1995-96 increased 19 per cent to $327 million while total petroleum royalties receipts increased by 89 per cent to $216 million; and -
· the value of environmental performance bonds imposed on mining companies rose from $54 million to $72 million.
Mr Minson said the trend towards fewer mining fatalities in the WA mining industry in recent years was encouraging.
"However, while there has been a sustained overall improvement in mine safety performance in WA in recent years, it is not a signal to celebrate," he said.
"Every death is a tragedy and every death is one too many.
"There is always room for improvement when people's lives and their general safety are at stake.
"The Department of Minerals and Energy will continue to strive towards the total elimination of disabling injuries and fatalities in the State's mining industry."
Three of the four mine deaths in WA in 1995-96 occurred underground while a fifth happened on the surface.
The report also revealed:
· there was a steep decline in the number of mining leases granted during the year - down from 611 in 1994-95 to 368 in 1995-96, mainly as a result of the difficulties associated with Native Title Act procedures;
· details of a departmental inventory into abandoned mine sites, starting with the Phillips River mineral field around Ravensthorpe; and -
· an outline of a Government initiative to provide increased opportunities for mineral exploration in WA under which the department has produced a record number of new maps.
Copies of the annual report are available from Mineral House, 100 Plain Street, East Perth, 6004 or by telephoning 222 3589.
Media contact: Caroline Lacy 222 9211