Resources boom marches on
Western Australia’s resources industry continues to set new records, with new figures revealing that annual sales rose 25 percent in 2006-07 to reach an astonishing $53.4 billion.This means the value of the Western Australian resources sector is now equivalent to the entire Gross Domestic Products of countries like Croatia and Qatar. The resources and minerals industry now accounts for 88 percent of WA’s total merchandise exports.Western Australian Resources Minister, Francis Logan said the record result was achieved through strong overseas demand, particularly from China, for the state’s mineral and petroleum commodities.“Most of the increase can be attributed to iron ore, nickel and petroleum, which account for around 75 percent of total sales,” Mr Logan said.“Nickel was by far the most outstanding performer in dollar terms, increasing an astounding 110 percent, from $3.79 billion to reach $8 billion.“Petroleum, which includes crude oil, condensate, LNG, natural gas and LPG, is again the largest resource sector by value, increasing by $1.6 billion in sales to total $16.4 billion.“But hard on its heels for the number one position is iron ore. The giant of the minerals industry sold a record 258 million tonnes in 2006-07 to have a total value of $15.8 billion, an increase of 24 percent,” he said.Mr Logan said he expected the iron ore sector to continue its record-breaking run well beyond this year, with proposed mine and port expansions, new developments and continued strong demand.After nickel, alumina was next in order of value to the State with sales of $4.8 billion (up 17 percent), followed closely by gold at $4.1 billion (up 10 percent). Base metals also performed particularly well, with high prices helping to record a 71 percent increase and reach a total of $1.7 billion worth of sales.