Australian resources exports ended on a record high of $248 billion in 2018, according to the latest report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. (ABS).
The ABS figures from February showed an impressive export record from key resources such as iron ore, gas, gold, and coal.
Senator the Hon. Matt Caravan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia said higher prices and export volumes produced a record $66 billion worth of exports in coal, in a release.
“[Coal] is Australia’s single most valuable export,” he said. He continued:
“This highlights the continuing role of coal in providing jobs and income for communities throughout Australia, and in underpinning our strong national economic performance.
“There is also good potential for expanded earnings as output from existing coal basins is increased and the Galilee Basin is brought into production.”
Sen. Canavan said the value of coal exports was up 16% on the previous year’s $57 billion, with exports up across all resources to the tune of 20% over 2017’s $206 billion.
Resources contributed 72% of Australia’s exported goods in 2018, and more than half of the country’s total exports of goods and services, at 53%.
Highlights of the report include $18.3 billion in gold exports, and $63 billion in iron ore exports, the latter buoyed by improved market prices and strong demand overseas.
According to Interim Chief of the Minerals Council of Australia David Byers, these statistics indicate a healthy mining sector, with plenty room left for expansion.
“The minerals industry and mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector continue to provide high-paying jobs for over one million Australians, particularly those in regional areas,” stated Mr. Byers in a press release.
“Australia is also poised to seize future opportunities for minerals resources that will come from growth in new consumer, energy and transportation technologies around the world.
“We have extensive resources of the rare earth elements, base metals, lithium and precious metals that are the essential materials in smartphones, electric vehicles, modern energy systems and industrial machinery.”
“Australia is already the world’s largest lithium producer, with several new mines and processing facilities under development that will ensure Australia remains a key part of the lithium supply chain for years to come.”
Mining employs approximately 242,000 Australians across the country. Sen. Canavan said these figures represent an expansion in employment opportunities.
“Mining is creating high-skill, high-pay jobs throughout Australia, often in regional areas,” he said.
“These latest figures are proof once again that Australia’s mining boom is far from over.”