WA’s record-breaking resources industry carries the nation

Western Australia’s resources sector achieves record sales of $230 billion in 2021
Date: Monday, 11 April 2022
  • Western Australia’s resources sector achieves record sales of $230 billion in 2021
  • Highlights how Western Australia’s economy has carried the nation through the COVID19 pandemic
  • A record 156,238 people working in the mining sector, with an extra 15,298 jobs added in 2021
  • Western Australia accounted for more than half of national goods exports in 2021

WA’s COVID-19 management has ensured the economy has stayed open and strong throughout the pandemic

Western Australia’s resources industry achieved record sales of $230 billion and supported more local jobs than ever before in 2021 - confirming WA’s critical role in carrying the nation’s economy through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resources sales for 2021 were up a massive 30 per cent, or $53 billion, from 2020 - based on the latest annual data released by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety today.

Resources sector employment continued its strong performance with a record average of 156,238 jobs - a significant 10.8 per cent increase, or 15,298, compared to 2020.

The strong performance of WA’s resources sector underpinned the State’s goods exports, rising to a record 52.3 per cent share of the value of national goods exports in 2021.

The resources sector’s record performance has resulted in billions of dollars in additional revenue flowing to the Commonwealth and other States throughout the pandemic, as highlighted in the recent Federal Budget.

The continued operation of the resources sector, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, saw iron ore sales surge to an unprecedented $157 billion given high prices and supply interruptions in competing markets.

The gold industry continued its stellar run with more than $16 billion in sales underpinned by strong prices as economic and geopolitical uncertainty continued.

Lithium sales soared to an all-time high of $2.6 billion - a threefold increase, while nickel sales grew to $3.7 billion, the highest value since 2012.

The petroleum sector (LNG, condensate, crude oil, domestic gas and LPG) recovered to achieve sales of $39 billion, up from $27 billion in 2020.

A five-year high of more than $22 billion was invested across the sector during 2021 and around $156 billion of resources projects are in the pipeline.

For more information, visit http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/Investors/Resource-statistics-1431.aspx

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

“Western Australia has carried the nation through the pandemic. The State’s COVID-19 management has kept the economy open and strong - with record jobs and sales for our resources sector during 2021.

“My Government has worked hard to ensure the industry continues to operate given its sizeable contribution to both the State and national economies.

“There are now more people working in the resources sector than ever before - with a record average of 156,238 jobs for 2021.

“Throughout the past two years, my Government has always been focused on saving lives and protecting jobs, and these latest results show that our approach has been the correct one.

“All States and the Commonwealth have benefited from WA’s performance with respect to COVID-19 and the economy - with a surge in revenue to the nation when it needed it most.

“For instance, the Commonwealth receives more than double the revenue from company tax from the iron ore mining sector than WA receives in royalties.”

Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston:

“Western Australia’s resources industry continued to deliver impressive results across key sectors and commodities, despite facing a challenging year.

“The McGowan Government is working hard to ensure these results continue to power the State and national economies.

“It is especially pleasing to see the resources sector create jobs and drive growth in regional communities.

“WA’s remarkable range of critical and battery minerals, including lithium and nickel, will play a big part in our future success as the world transitions to clean energy.”