Latest commodity statistics for 2015-2016 now available

Snapshot of WA minerals and petroleum
Date: Friday, 09 December 2016

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has updated its fact sheets which provide an overview of key Western Australian commodities including alumina, gold, mineral sands, iron ore, nickel and petroleum.

Iron ore remained the State's most valuable resource sector in 2015-16, valued at $48.4 billion. The volume of iron ore sales reached a record 757 million tonnes in 2015-16. Iron ore provided nearly $3.5 billion worth of royalties to the State government in 2015-16, representing almost 75 per cent of all royalties and associated payments.

Gold was Western Australia’s second most valuable mineral sector in 2015-16, with $10 billion in sales - representing 14.5 per cent of total mineral sales.

Western Australia is the country’s major gold producer, accounting for about 70 per cent of Australia's total gold production. In 2015-16, eight producers accounted for 73 per cent of Western Australia’s gold sales.

Alumina was Western Australia’s third most valuable mineral in 2015-16. The State’s alumina sales have increased every year since 2010-11, reaching just over $4.9 billion in 2015-16.

Western Australia has the largest proportion of the nation’s economic nickel resources and is currently the sole producer of nickel in Australia.

The State’s nickel resources consist of both sulphide and lateritic deposits, with most production derived from nickel sulphide mines.

In 2015-16, nickel was Western Australia’s fourth most valuable mineral sector, with sales totalling $2.2 billion.

Mineral sands production in Western Australia predominantly comprises titanium minerals such as ilmenite, leucoxene, synthetic rutile and rutile, and zircon.  Other products such as garnet sand and staurolite are also produced on a smaller scale.

In 2015-16, the sales value of Western Australia’s mineral sands sector was $539 million.

Western Australia’s petroleum sector comprises crude oil, condensate, liquefied natural gas (LNG), natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Despite significant drops in the prices for petroleum products in 2015-16, LNG remained a significant industry for Western Australia, with sales of $10.8 billion during the financial year. This made it the most valuable petroleum product in Western Australia, representing 61 per cent of all petroleum sales.

LNG sales volumes increased slightly in 2015-16 to nearly 21 million tonnes. This volume is expected to grow as Chevron’s Gorgon project ramps up following its first production in 2016 and the Wheatstone project comes on-line in 2017.

The entire value of all petroleum products produced in State areas (onshore and offshore), and in adjacent Commonwealth offshore areas, amounted to $18.4 billion in 2015-16.

Western Australia remains the nation’s premier petroleum producer, accounting for 52 per cent of gas production (including natural gas, coal seam methane and LNG feedstock), 66 per cent of crude oil production and 71 per cent of condensate production. In total, Western Australian produced just over half (52 per cent) of the nation’s total petroleum output.

Further information is available at on the DMP website