The value of resources to the West Australian economy has dropped slightly, but is still worth more than $100 billion.
The latest figures from the state government reveals the value of WA’s mineral and petroleum industry in 2012-13 was $102 billion, the third consecutive year above $100 billion.
However, that valuation was down from $106 billion last year, with the decrease blamed on the high level of the Australian dollar and a fall in the price of gold.
Iron ore remained the state’s highest value commodity, accounting for $56.4 billion of total mineral sales. In total, 513 million tonnes of iron ore were exported in 2012-13.
Gold was the second most valuable mineral sector, with total sales of just under $9 billion.
Mineral and petroleum exports comprised 89 per cent of the state’s total merchandise exports. The petroleum sector increased by 2.9 per cent to $24.5 billion, with gas the most valuable product, increasing output by almost 29 per cent to a record 19.8 million tonnes.
Mines minister Bill Marmion said the statistics meant WA was now the 15th best exploration destination in the world, according to the Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies.
“What this means is jobs, jobs, jobs for West Australians,” Mr Marmion said.
The figures come as CommSec’s latest quarterly State of the States report confirms WA’s place as the nation’s economic leader, albeit with a reduced dominance.
And despite an admitted cooling in the mining sector, as major projects move from the construction to production phase, WA still has an estimated $146 billion worth of resource projects under construction or in the committed stage of development.
A further $97 billion has been identified as planned or possible projects in coming years.