Mining is also an important driver of Australia’s economy and has a significant effect on the growth and development of the country as a whole. A close look at the impact of mining on Australia’s GDP and its evolution over time shows why this is the case.
In terms of revenue, mining is the primary contributor to Australia’s GDP. Mining’s contribution is nearing $150 billion per year (source: AWHEC), with a portfolio of 135 industries and approximately 475,000 workers (including those in related industries). The sector also contributes over 7% of Australia’s merchandise exports and 3% of Australia’s service exports.
Mining has also played a significant role in development and modernization. Many Western countries, especially the United States, have used minerals to produce equipment and products essential for modern life, such as aluminum, steel and tools.
The mining sector is internationally recognized for its high skill, high productivity and high innovation potential. The industry has a solid long-term outlook, with many major world markets and large economies over the past half-century being assisted by the advancement of mining technology.
A variety of minerals are extracted in Australia, including gold, nickel, iron ore, bauxite titanium mineral sands, and diamonds. The major minerals that contribute to Australia’s exports are iron ore, coal and natural gas. In fact, iron ore is the most important commodity exported by Australia. This is followed by coal and then natural gas.
The rise of the mining industry has also been seen as a boost for commodities, especially iron ore. Prices for iron ore shot up due to high demand from China and India. However, due to lower demand from China, the price of iron ore dropped significantly. This was a big impact on Australia’s economy.
The mining sector has also been a major contributor to job creation and economic activity. The sector currently accounts for over 1 million jobs, and occupation levels are expected to increase by 2.8% between 2004 and 2009, increasing 90,000 jobs overall (source: AWHEC).
The recent rise in the demand in China for resources has also raised the importance of Australia’s mining industries overall. Over the next decade, Australia’s mining industries are expected to grow by more than 20%, with development in Asia accounting for 65% of this growth (source: AWHEC).
The future of mining is also promising. Ever-increasing demand from China means that demand for resources will only increase in the future. This opens up a new era of mining industries that are expected to be vital for Australia.
The end result is that mining has played a significant role in the developing and modernization of many Western countries, including Australia. Mining has been key to Australia’s economic growth and development as a whole.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker/SMC. For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of industry safety. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC. Click here to learn more!