Iron ore and gold reach record levels in 2015

Iron ore production reaches record levels and gold glitters in latest statistics.
Date: Friday, 06 May 2016

A record 740 million tonnes of iron ore was produced in Western Australia in 2015 according to the latest statistics available from the Department of Mines and Petroleum.

DMP Director General Richard Sellers said that the figure was more than triple the amount exported just 10 years ago and represents 37 per cent of global iron ore production.

"It is a phenomenal amount of growth in a decade and highlights the scale of Western Australia's iron ore industry," Mr Sellers said.

While the State produced a record amount of iron ore last year, its value decreased from the previous year due to the significant drop in the iron ore price which began in 2014 and has continued throughout 2015.

"However, the $49 billion worth of iron ore produced in 2015 is still almost four times the value of just ten years ago," Mr Sellers said.

"The iron ore sector was also directly responsible for employing an average of 55,990 people in 2015, or more than half of the total number of people directly employed in the State’s mining industry."

It should come as no surprise that the gold sector was a standout performer in the department's 2015 statistics data.

"It showed the value of gold increased to a record $9.5 billion despite a small reduction in the total amount produced," Mr Sellers said.

The total number employed by the gold sector also rose, reaching 20,595 in 2015 - an 18 per cent increase compared to the previous year.

The total value of Western Australia’s mineral and petroleum production in 2015 was $91.3 billion.

The latest statistics and resources data files are available from the DMP website.