Western Australia remains the national economic powerhouse

WA delivers record $231 billion of mineral and petroleum sales in 2021-22
Date: Wednesday, 05 October 2022
  • Lithium prices drive sales to $6.8 billion, nickel has highest sales record in 10 years
  • Jobs in resources sector hit all-time high with more than 157,700 workers

Western Australia’s resources sector continues to drive the State and national economies, with record sales of $231 billion and the highest-ever employment figures in 2021-22.

This is the fourth financial year in a row the sector has delivered record sales, following $151 billion in 2018-19, $172 billion in 2019-20 and $211 billion in 2020-21.

Employment in the sector rose to an all-time high of more than 157,700 workers, an increase of around six per cent on the previous financial year.

Iron ore maintained its historically high status with sales of $137 billion, gold hit another record with sales of $17 billion, while nickel recorded sales of $4.9 billion.

Surging lithium prices drove the value of spodumene concentrate sales to a record $6.8 billion - more than two-and-a-half times its previous record. Lithium was WA’s third highest mineral by sales value.

The petroleum sector continued to recover following a downturn during the pandemic. LNG production was valued at an all-time high of $38 billion and condensate production was valued at a record $8.6 billion.

Mineral exploration expenditure reached a new high of $2.5 billion with strong levels of spending on gold, nickel, copper, rare earths and lithium.

More than $24 billion was invested in WA’s mining and petroleum sector - the highest level since 2016, and the State has around $57 billion of resources projects under development and a further $87 billion in medium and longer-term projects in the pipeline.

For more information, visit the Latest statistics release page.

Comments attributed to Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan:

"These results again highlight the success of our Jobs Plan and our commitment to creating long-term employment for Western Australians.

"Our unrivalled economic management and growing resources sector shows time and time again that our State is the backbone of our nation’s economy."

Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston:

"These exceptional results continue to deliver jobs and outstanding economic benefits to Western Australia and our regional communities.

"It’s especially pleasing to see the growth in battery and critical minerals such as nickel, lithium and rare earths given the global transition to green energy.

"WA has a proven track record as a reliable investment partner and these results are a testament to our economic stability, legal clarity and regulatory certainty."