Western Australia’s Chamber of Minerals and Energy has predicted investment in the state’s resources sector to continue at pace, driving the state’s Gross State Product up 4.3 per cent in 2011-12, and up 6 per cent for the following two years.
The CME’s WA Resources and Economics report showed a record $147.5 billion had been spent on 40 projects in WA at an advanced stage of development by the end of October, an increase of $38 billion from April 2011.
Iron ore production was up 8.9 per cent and titanium minerals 22.6 per cent, the report said.
Minerals exploration accounted for almost half of the $970 million invested in exploration in WA, rising by 7 per cent to $482 million.
CME chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said he expected investment to continue to surge, with a number of major projects set to begin production over the next two years, while demand for iron ore and natural gas remains strong.
“Labour demand in the WA resources sector has contributed to the lowest unemployment in the country at 4.3 per cent and direct emplytment in the resources sector cracked the 100,000 mark for the first time in December,” Mr Howard-Smith said in a statement.
“Growth in exports is forecast at a rapid pace of 8.56 per cent in 2011/12, with even stronger growth expected in 2012/13, in line with higher production of LNG over the medium term.”
Mr Howard-Smith said an increase of uranium exploration of 28 per cent showed the market was recovering from the Fukushima nuclear accident.
“News of the federal Labor Party agreement to overturn its ban on uranium exports to India and a slight relaxation by WA Labor on its uranium policy may also continue to see a positive impact on exploration in 2012,” he said.