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Nickel boosts resources sales

SALES of Western Australian resources rose 23 per cent to $48.4 billion, helped by a 60 per cent in nickel sales, during the 2006 calendar year, according to new statistics released by the state. Department of Industry and Resources records show the big jump came despite adverse weather conditions in the first quarter of 2006, rising cost pressures, mining equipment supply constraints and some shipping bottlenecks. DoIR says nickel is now WA’s third largest resource sector, with the three key markets being China at 23 per cent of the commodity, Canada (19 per cent) and Finland (15 per cent). Apart from nickel sales rising to $5.6 billion, gold sales jumped by 35.5 per cent to $4.2 billion and iron ore sales leapt by 29.2 per cent to hit $14.6 billion. Base metals surged 97 per cent to $1.2 billion while petroleum products held the state’s top spot at $15.6 billion, an 8.3 per cent rise. The state claims that with planned mine and port expansions, the iron ore sector was likely to continue to increase its exports in the current year.

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