Kevin Minson

Kevin Minson


    Department of Minerals and Energy's Statistics Digest released

    5/11/1996 12:00 AM

    November 5, 1996


    The impressive performance of the mining and petroleum industry in 1995-96 was tangible proof of a resources boom in Western Australia, Mines Minister Kevin Minson said today.


    Releasing the Department of Minerals and Energy's most recent statistics digest, Mr Minson said the minerals and petroleum sector continued to underpin the State's economy.


    "The sector accounted for about 29 per cent of Gross State Product, more than 70 per cent of exports, more than 50 per cent of private capital investment and about 20 per cent of employment - direct and indirect," he said.


    "The industry's performance in 1995-96 can only be described as outstanding, with production increasing for most minerals and higher investment and exploration levels across the board."


    The value of production rose 10.3 per cent over the past year to around A$15,350 million. The rise was mainly attributable to the strong increase in the value and production of condensate, gold, nickel, iron ore, mineral sands and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).


    The base metals category was the most notable exception to production increases.


    The major highlight of 1995-96 was the continued surge in the petroleum sector, making it the State's first industry to produce more than A$4000 million of product in a year. The petroleum sector remains the State's leading resource industry and is now Australia's largest oil producer.


    Mr Minson said the Government's long-held goals to achieve downstream processing of the State's resources were coming to fruition, with major processing projects under way or in the planning stages.


    BHP's direct reduced iron plant at Port Hedland was under construction and commissioning is expected in 1997-98.


    "At least another $25,000 million worth of projects are either committed, under consideration or being investigated," the Minister said.


    "Continued growth of the minerals and petroleum sector is essential to maintain the State's prosperity.


    "With a positive world economic outlook, particularly for Asia, there will certainly be opportunities emerging for WA, particularly for minerals and petroleum.


    "It is important for the State to maintain international competitiveness in the sector so these export opportunities can be maximised."


    Mr Minson said Government initiatives such as deregulation of the gas market and the start of gas deliveries through Goldfields gas pipeline would ensure further development.


    "The confidence is there for industry to expand and invest in new resource projects," he said.


    "The resources sector is likely to underpin the State's - and to a lesser extent, Australia's - growth prospects for the rest of the decade."


    The Minister said WA's prominence in the international minerals scene was expected to be maintained well into the 21st century.


    "WA is expected to continue to be a significant world player on many international commodity markets," he said.


    The State currently supplies - by quantity:


    ·           13 per cent of the world's iron ore production;


    ·           nine per cent of all gold production;


    ·           10 per cent of all LNG;


    ·           18 per cent of all alumina;


    ·           11 per cent of all nickel;


    ·           50 per cent of zircon; and -


    ·           about 38 per cent of the world's diamond production.


    The estimated value of the State's minerals and energy sector in 2000-01 will be in the range of A$20,000 million and A$23,000 million. The average annual rate of growth in production between now and 2000-01 is expected to range between six and nine per cent.


    The new Statistics Digest is available from Mineral House, 100 Plain Street, East Perth.


    Media contacts: Caroline Lacy 222 9211 Lynley Jenkins, Department of Minerals and Energy 222 3527