Industry Profile

Western Australia (WA) has come a long way in terms of resource development since the early pioneering days of the 1800s. The first annual report of the then WA Mines Department in 1894 proudly proclaims resource revenue of 31,608 Pounds (almost A$50,000) for the year. When compared to revenue of A$101.2 billion for Western Australia's oil and gas industry in 2010- 2011, the growth is not only big, but astonishing.

WA's dominant resources industry is helping the state to safely ride short-term global economic uncertainty, and it is expected to achieve record-high growth in the next few years as more projects come on line. This growth will ensure Western Australia continues to be the nation's fastest growing State, with record investment expenditure contributing to a prosperous future.

As one of the world's most resource-rich precincts, Western Australia is also gaining a reputation for its ability to add value to commodities by downstream processing, including production of LNG and alumina. In 2010 Western Australia was responsible for almost half of the nation's Merchandise Exports, producing 100 per cent of the national output of nickel, 90 per cent of iron ore, 70 per cent of gold and 89 per cent of the country's crude oil and condensate. As one of the youngest States in the world, WA's pioneering spirit still continues today, and will so into the future!

The resources industry is expected to grow with A$107 billion worth of mineral and petroleum projects committed or under construction and a further A$194 billion planned or possible. Western Australia is a world leader in iron ore production and has enormous reserves of iron ore (approx 50 billion tonnes of high grade direct shipping ore and about 35 billion tonnes of magnetite ore). The State is also a large-scale producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), alumina, nickel, gold, titaniumzircon minerals, diamonds, and salt. There are significant resources of these commodities as well as manganese, chromium, vanadium, uranium, lithium, tantalum, tungsten, base metals and rare earth elements in Western Australia.

Investment and Trade opportunities

Western Australia is keen to attract exploration, development and value‐adding processing in the resources and energy arena, together with the relevant supporting industries and technologies associated with some of these major resource projects.

The multiplicity of projects underway or planned also provides significant business opportunities for infrastructure companies to support the developments taking place, particularly in the areas of engineering construction, transportation and power supply. The value of engineering construction rose 32% (A$8 billion) to A$32 billion in Western Australia in 2011. The State had A$64 billion of engineering construction work in the pipeline at the end of 2010-11, mainly comprising the A$43 billion Gorgon LNG project. In March 2012 there was A$167 billion of resource projects under construction or committed in WA, and a further A$151 billion under consideration. In April 2012 Western Australia had 52% of Australia's total value of resource projects under construction or committed (Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics). Figures from the Department for State Development show Western Australia produced A$101 billion of minerals and petroleum in 2010-11, 39& more than
in the previous year.

While the mineral and energy resources sector is the predominant focus of activity and attention, the Western Australian economy has increasingly diversified to allow it to cushion itself from fluctuations in the international commodities market.

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Invest in the West: METS Invest in the West: Oil & Gas

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