- Mineral and petroleum industry reported sales of $94.8 billion in 2016
- Iron ore remains WA's most valuable commodity
The Western Australian resources sector continues to lead the nation in exploration and investment activity, with the State attracting a record 65 per cent of Australia's total mineral exploration expenditure.
According to new data from the Department of Mines and Petroleum, the mineral and petroleum industry reported sales of $94.8 billion in 2016 - an increase of four per cent from 2015.
The improvement from last year is largely on the back of increases from major commodities including iron ore, gold and several petroleum products.
Mineral commodities dominate the industry accounting for 79 per cent, or $74.9 billion, of the total sales value.
Liquefied natural gas was the stand-out commodity in the petroleum sector, accounting for 67 per cent of the $19.8 billion petroleum sales.
A price surge in the fourth quarter resulted in an eight per cent increase in iron ore sales for 2016, which totalled $54 billion.
Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston:
"Despite a decrease in national expenditure, WA continues to attract the majority share of mineral and petroleum investment, and exploration activity.
"The value of the gold sector grew by 10 per cent in 2016 to reach $10.6 billion.
"The gold sector also benefited from strong exploration expenditure, attracting 48 per cent of Western Australia's total mineral exploration expenditure.
"While the number of people directly employed in the mining sector has trended downwards since its peak in 2013, the average number of people employed across the industry is still double what it was 10 years ago."
Minister's office - 6552 6700