New direction for energy, minerals industry: report

NEW and expanding resource processing facilities in WA signal an important new direction in the State’s minerals and energy industry, according to a new report.

Released last week, Adding Value to WA’s Resources Sector was commissioned to provide a more comprehensive picture of the worth generated by the minerals and energy industry in Western Australia.

According to the report the Western Australian minerals and energy industry was worth $32.033 billion last financial year.

The report takes into account all economic activities that occur within the State as a direct consequence of the identification, development, extraction and processing of Western Australian mineral and energy resources.

The report says that, in the short term, growth in the minerals and energy industry will be led by strong demand in the minerals sector, and particularly by developments in the iron ore industry.

“Long-term growth of the minerals and energy industry will be led by the energy sector with significant developments proposed to come into production towards the end of the decade,” the report says

“The expected long-term expansion in the global iron market is also reflected in several proposed new processing facilities, including HIsmelt’s direct reduced iron plant and the Mt Gibson iron pellet plant, both of which are committed projects.

“The growth of the global knowledge economy has brought numerous economic benefits to Australia and in Western Australia, the minerals and energy industry has particularly been influenced by technological change.

“There are a number of developments that signal the growing importance of minerals and energy processing in Western Australia and an increasing focus on the global market.”

The report points to a number of new and expanding processing projects – Alcoa’s Pinjarra alumina plant, Millennium Chemicals, Tiwest, North West Shelf Venture’s 4th LNG Train, Burrup Fertilisers and the large Gorgon LNG development.

CME chief executive Tim Shanahan said the report revealed the changing dynamics in the industry.

“The sector now encompasses considerable downstream processing as companies are attracted by the State’s abundant mineral and energy reserves, low sovereign risk, skilled workforce and proximity to markets,” he said.

Mr Shanahan said the report identified the important role of government in attracting and facilitating new resource developments to WA.

The report was commissioned by the Chmaber of Minerals and Energy and conducted by consultants Acil Tasman.


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